5 Pieces Of Advice For......David Moyes


As Manchester United set themselves to bounce back this weekend hosting West Brom, today on the blog Ethan Dean Richards offers 5 pieces of advice for David Moyes.

David Moyes

Most reasonable people would offer the opinion that David Moyes’ time as Manchester United’s manager has been too short to analyse in any real depth yet. And they’re right; talking about someone’s first six or seven competitive games in charge of a team feels a little ridiculous.

But these so-called ‘reasonable’ people – entirely created by me, to be completely fair to imaginary them – are not in possession of either a deadline or a word-count. Both of those concepts do bad things to you, let me tell you. As such, here I am to list five pieces of advice for Moyes on how he can improve on a rough start at United. Huzzah!

#1. Don’t let Robin Van Persie get injured.

Or, if you like, get lucky. Against Manchester City on Sunday, Manchester United proved with the breathtaking precision and skill of a genius-level mathematician that they need something they can’t always have: Robin Van Persie. There they were, chalk in hand, spraying the words ‘WE’RE REALLY CRAP’ all over a whiteboard in front of a lecture room full of nodding students. Never mind that the idiots were using chalk on a whiteboard, the point was easy to grasp. They need Van Persie more than Captain Ahab needed Moby Dick, more than Henry Chinaski needed to quit his postal route and more than I need to expand my literary horizons to move beyond secondary school literary references. Van Persie is indispensable to United…like Daisy was to Gatsby?

Therefore, to ensure he wins, David Moyes must ensure that Van Persie remains in his team for every single crucial moment of Premier League action. To do this, Moyes will need to rely on something pretty much beyond his control: Van Persie not getting injured.

So it comes down, on some level, to luck. That’s got to grate at Moyes. It grates at me. I’m sure it grates at you. We can break it down all we like, and explain a lot of different things quite well, but ultimately there are factors beyond the control of David Moyes which will go as far in determining how successful he is as The New Alex Ferguson as any boldly-timed substitution of Michael Carrick. Luck might not be the best term to describe this concept, but it’s certainly the most frustrating name for it, and thus I’m happy to go on referring to it as such.

#2. Moyes needs to be cooler

This is self-evident. I refuse to explain it.

#3. Moyes needs to convince Wayne Rooney to be bad.

It might feel counterintuitive to suggest that Moyes needs any of players to be worse at football than they already are – some might say that he’s already taken that technique as far as it can go after the City game, and that it’s already reached its logical conclusion in the form of mild catastrophe. But trust me, I’m an expert: United could do with Rooney getting worse.

You see, United were a better team when everyone wasn’t raving about the newly reanimated, headband-wearing Wayne Rooney. They won the league last season with Rooney being referred to – by me – as a ‘bloated liability of an impression of an impression of a footballer’. Now, one kind of logic suggests that it would only take Rooney’s sudden and massive implosion for United to become that team once more. At the very least, it is worth a go. ARE YOUR IDEAS ANY BETTER HUH?!

There is a real point to make here, as well as the brilliantly constructed joke one. With Rooney playing well and thus in the team behind Van Persie, United end up playing with – close enough to – two strikers. This, against properly good teams, leaves them vulnerable in midfield, even if Marouane Fellaini is now around to help tidy up Rooney’s mess. And, what’s more, with Rooney, even playing well, you are never likely to be able to construct a careful possession-based game – do United limit themselves to being counter-punchers when they play with Rooney as their number 10?

As the person who asked it, I feel well-placed to answer this question: yes.

#4. Moyes needs to stop making excuses

Alex Ferguson made many, many grotesque excuses in his time as Manchester United manager. There was the one about the referee, or the other one about the referee, or the other one about the referee, or the other one about the referee, or the other one about the referee, or the other one about the referee, or the other one about the referee, or the other one about the referee, or the other one about the referee, or the other one about the referee, or the other one about the referee. And perhaps a few more which don’t come to mind right now.

But if you were to assume that his lame excuse-making was what made Alex Ferguson the kind of manager whose name even the kids who didn’t care about football in school knew, then you’d be being silly. Moyes appears to be being silly.

After losing 4-1 to Manchester City, and deserving to lose 4-1 to Manchester City, Moyes cited a rigged fixture list as the reason for his poor start at the club. Conspiracy theories won’t endear you to anyone, David, you’re not Liverpool manager. The clue is that your team has won the title in the last twenty years.

His players and his fans don’t need excuses, they need someone who’ll take responsibility for his own decisions. David Moyes should take responsibility for the decisions which David Moyes takes. This should not be controversial. NO MORE CONSPIRACY THEORIES.

#5. In the words of Tyler Durden

You're not your job. You're not how much money you have in the bank. You're not the car you drive. You're not the contents of your wallet. You're not your fucking khakis. You're the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world, David.

Don’t let the job go to your head and start referring to yourself in the third person. Keep working hard, like you did at Everton, because no-one will give you an inch as Manchester United manager if you don’t.


Current Manchester United Odds - Odds as at 27th September 2013.

 Opening Oddsbet365BetfredLadbrokesWilliamHillBetVictor
To Win Premier League  3.60 5.00 5.50 5.50 5.00 5.50
Top 4 Finish  1.12 1.29 1.25 1.22 1.29 1.20
To Win Champions League  15.00 15.00 12.00 15.00 15.00 15.00


Follow Ethan on Twitter: @SurrealFootball