The Champions League is back tonight – celebrating Europe’s kings of the ring, while ruthlessly exposing those punching way above their weight.
In the red corner stands David William Moyes – bloodied, bruised, but still swinging wildly as ever through a debut season that has become a disaster.
A glance across Europe’s top leagues would make the Scot squint, before shielding his eyes – so bright and bold their continental progress must seem compared to Moyes’ mayhem and misery in Manchester.
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Laurent Blanc is in his first season at PSG. His side are eight points clear in Ligue 1.
Pep Guardiola, another debutant, is demolishing the Bundsliga. Bayern Munich are 23 points clear in their league.
Carlo Ancelotti was announced at Real Madrid nearly eight weeks AFTER Moyes agreed to join United. His side stand three points clear at the top of La Liga.
It’s Jose Mourinho’s first season with Chelsea in six years – and we all know where they are.
We don’t know if all of these clubs will win the league this season. Some may win nothing at all. They could collapse and crumble.
In that unlikely event though, all of the managers above – Moyes apart – have done enough, in a similar amount of time afforded to Man Utd’s manager, to demonstrate they are capable.
They’ve all demonstrated that they DESERVE time. Time to shape their squads, to make big decisions on transfer policy and trophy priorities.
David Moyes doesn’t deserve it by default. He has to earn it like the rest of us. Worse still, it’s not just the big boys highlighting his lack of progress.
Managers of teams with more modest means have made more of their men than the Scot.
Just ask Olympiakos – 18 points clear in the Greek Super League, and 2-0 up in their last 16 Champions League tie against Moyes’ boys.
In the Premier League, Tony Pulis has given Crystal Palace a fighting chance of staying up.
How much worse can it get? What are they waiting for?
When he joined in November, they were bottom of the league. Gus Poyet – who joined Sunderland in October – has done a similar job on Wearside, taking the Black Cats to Wembley, mauling Moyes and Manchester United en route.
For many Man Utd fans – some scarred, others spoilt – this has been the worst season of football they have ever seen.
Most fans would accept that transition rarely translates to titles – but the abject nature of these defeats just cannot go on.
The Footy Acca lads and Tesco sent Twitter into a frenzy this week, trolling Moyes.
If they (ok, let’s be honest, when) they drop another point between now and May 11th, it will officially lead to Manchester United’s WORST Premier League points tally since the league began.
When Fergie retired on my birthday, he told the fans to be patient and get behind the new manager – but why would anybody get behind the man responsible for taking the defending champions of England to what will be one of their worst campaigns in living memory?
The evidence is overwhelming. How much worse can it get? What are they waiting for? It’s time for honesty and doing what’s right for the club – it’s time to drop David Moyes.
Credit: Daniel Henry