Kieran Davies on a victim of the modern age.

So the powers that be at Old Trafford have officially announced the departure of David Moyes but my understanding was Lee Majors was The Fall Guy but maybe we need to look at David’s demise a bit more. Firstly, this decision makes a big statement as an action such as this is not perceived as ‘The Man Utd Way’ but this is the way of the modern age. The era of Ferguson was akin to a Shankly or Paisley at Liverpool, Kendall at Everton, Don Revie at Leeds and so on and these periods come around once in a lifetime. There are a lot of good managers in world football but there is no guarantee they will be a good fit for your club. Now Moyes did make mistakes during his reign which with hindsight he may have changed given his chance again. Getting rid of Fergie’s backroom staff was a bold move which backfired. His signing of Fellaini backfired massively, while Mata has flourished he’s a world class player so no surprises there really. Whoever took the reins from Fergie was going to have a massive challenge.

The players need to take more of the criticism for me as a lot of former players say, they never came off the pitch after a defeat thinking ‘the manager lost us that game’. It’s the players who are mainly attributable for the disastrous season and until they have a hard look at themselves the new manager will have the same problem. The player of the season for United is probably Mata, a player who didn’t even sign until the January window. There are players at the club who are saying they will have to move on for first team football if they don’t get more gametime who aren’t good enough to get in most sides pushing for European football. While Ryan Giggs’ career is nothing short of remarkable and he deserves respect for that, you can only register 25 players for the Premier League season and a 40 year old man shouldn’t be commanding one of those spots. This shows the lack of quality in the depth of the 25. A lot of the burden has been placed on an 18 year old wonderkid who is in his debut season in the first team squad something which underlines the lack of quality creativity in the squad. Januzaj is a fantastic prospect but he will blossom far more if he is just part of a squad with a lot of quality as opposed to being needed to make some magic happen everytime he touches the ball. The back four needs rebuilding as it has looked like leaking goals in most games. This puts added pressure on the players at the other end of the pitch so this needs to be addressed as a priority. With Vidic leaving in the summer they will have the chance to do this but Smalling and Jones don’t look like the partnership they were hoping could take over from Rio and Nemanja.

Smalling and Jones: The future of United’s rearguard.

Gone are the days of the flair of Cristiano Ronaldo tearing teams apart out wide and realistically he has never been replaced. Now that’s no mean feat and you probably won’t replace all of his game but world class wide men are needed and none of the current crop seems to fit the bill. All the competition seem to have quality players in the middle of the park capable breaking up an opponent’s attack and then turning defence into attack in an instant. They seem to have creativity and flair, all of these traits are currently missing from the United midfield. Every good team rotates their squad but they always tend to have a spine to their team which doesn’t really get rotated. Man City would be Hart, Kompany, Toure, Silva and Aguero. Liverpool would be Skrtel, Gerrard, Henderson, Sturridge and Suarez. While United could do this their spine is fragile and needs strengthening. They also need to look at the Rooney and Van Persie situation. These two just don’t seem to gel together in the same team and tend to make the same runs into the same channels. Considering Rooney has recently signed a huge contract you would have to assume the only two options would be to either sell Van Persie or make it work through ardent training in between games. Whichever way they sway for a new manager coming in, would they be as bold to make such a decision to sell a first team player so early in the job?

This can be said of a lot of the squad and the question it raises is how much freedom is a new manager going to have in getting rid of players he doesn’t fancy? Add to that, and this was no doubt part of the reasoning in Moyes’ departure, if the figures available to a manager are true as media reports are you going to entrust a new man with such a huge sum of money? As Tottenham found out to their peril, spending a big sum and bringing a lot of players during the summer doesn’t always pan out as how it would seem it would on paper. Some of the potential transfers for the summer which are being talked about, if there is any truth in these, involve huge transfer fees and even bigger wages who these players surely do not command. It would seem it will take in excess of £200k per week to attract the sort of talent United need to get back to something like what they are used to in terms of Champions League football. Without European football next season you will mainly attract players who are purely interested in money or you will have to sell the ‘big picture’ so much that the year out of Europe is only a blip. This then brings its own complications if you don’t achieve this goal. This season has shown us that the so called ‘big 4’ may never exist again as there are plenty of teams with squads capable of pushing for those places.

The next move for Man Utd needs to be a calculated one, plenty of thought needs to go into the next appointment. The reason for this is whoever the next appointment is they need to be given time implement their plan. A classic example is United’s bitterest rivals, Liverpool. Over the last decade they have seen many managers and including ones who were the wrong appointment from day one. Brendan Rodger’s sold FSG a ‘3 year plan’ which they bought into and subsequently gave him a three year contract. Now in year three the plan was never to win the title but providing his performance matched his plan roughly (pushing for Champion’s League qualification) he would be rewarded with a new contract. Look how this is reaping its own rewards right now. There is no time for sentiment now and the appointment shouldn’t be an ex player as let’s be realistic this is more the dream akin to the comic Roy of the Rovers than reality. An accomplished manager with a lot of pull in the transfer market is needed but both board and manager need to be singing from the same hymn sheet. Whoever comes in is going to need to rebuild the squad completely and will need time to see his vision flourish. This period in Manchester United’s history is going to be a testing one especially for the fans. It is easy to support a successful team, not so easy to support an unsuccessful one. We will see how many fans cope with this. This distinguishes a good club from a great club and would hope as a football fan that fans stick with them. Maybe it’s time to go on Dragon’s Den with my idea for six month package holidays to the deepest darkest jungles of Peru away from civilisation and media in preparation for Liverpool’s potential title success.