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Mediawatch is dizzy after reading so many U-turns on David Moyes, while Tim Sherwood spotted Christian Eriksen first...

Last Updated: 22/04/14 at 13:01

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Come On Feel the Noise
You won't be surprised to learn that a lot of journalists have dramatically changed their opinions of David Moyes following his exit from Manchester United, with Mediawatch's old friend Oliver Holt performing the most impressive U-turn.

Holt was quick to tweet his reaction on Monday afternoon, aware that his previous view of the situation (which we'll come to) now looks rather silly.

'Moyes: it had got to the point where United didn't really have any choice,' tweeted Holt.

'Things were starting to spiral out of control. Schisms among players, loss of respect for Moyes and Steve Round, growing sense of chaos.

'No sign at all that things were going to improve. If anything, the opposite.'

Wow. Pretty scathing stuff, we're sure you'll agree.

The criticism continues in Holt's Daily Mirror column, where he details Moyes' many failings since his appointment last summer.

'Being the manager of Manchester United offers the prospect of greatness but all it bestowed on Moyes was ignominy,' writes Holt.

'By the time the news emerged, it felt merciful. It felt as if they were putting the man out of his misery.

'Stories of dithering over transfer targets and team selection are rife. So are rumours of splits and resentments within the squad. Danny Welbeck, one of United's brightest young talents, wanted out. So did plenty of others.

'Moyes could never quite shake the perception that he was small-time, that managing Everton was the limit of his capabilities.

'It is hard to say this, but he was not up to it.'

Why is it so hard to say, Oliver? Everyone else is now sharing the same opinion, so it's not as though you're left looking foolish.

Ah, wait a second. What's that you said only a month ago?

'I still believe he deserves time. A lot more time,' wrote Holt after United's 3-0 defeat to Liverpool. 'David Moyes has never really had a chance.'

Well, that clears up how long 'a lot more time' should be. Apparently it's a month. Still, it's quite easy to completely change your view when you can make the first article mysteriously disappear from the internet.

Good job Mediawatch is on hand to remind everyone.

180 Degrees
If we're going to pull Holt up for his swift 180-degree turn, it's only fair that Mediawatch also raps Martin Samuel's knuckles after he championed the appointment of David Moyes in May.

Writes Samuel in today's Daily Mail: 'Appointing a manager without experience in the elite pool was a leap of faith and it has not been supported by results.

'Had Moyes proved he could venture into new territory and thrive, then United's owners would have willingly backed him in the transfer market this summer. Yet he has been unable to dispel the doubts that existed going into this season.

'He was famed for caution at Everton and United are missing their attacking swagger this season. The job was, as predicted by a number of fearful United fans, too big for him.'

Fearful is one word for those United fans, 'prescient' is another, but those concerns meant nothing to Samuel back in May when he wrote:

'So Moyes it is, and Moyes it should be. If transforming a club, if being the best and most consistent manager outside of the highest echelon in England, if producing good young players and identifying the premium talent available for the budget, does not prepare a man for Manchester United, what does?

'It is not just that Moyes deserves this appointment, English football deserves it, too. It deserves to be taken seriously. It deserves to matter. United are saying that what happens at Everton is significant. The alternative was not to reject one man, but the worth of the entire game in this country.'

It sounded like a steaming pile of guff at the time, and it's no wonder Samuel has now attempted to distance himself from his initial reaction.

He continues today: 'It is pointless pretending Moyes carries the same clout as his contemporaries at the major European clubs. He couldn't entice Leighton Baines from Everton and they had worked together for six years.

'Ancelotti, or Louis van Gaal, would bring a contacts book and a gold standard reputation. Their presence shows a club has intent, their track records increase expectation of success. Moyes's next trophy will be his first.

'Ultimately, Moyes wasn't the Chosen One, or even a special one. Instead, he became the Problem One. And swiftly, that problem has been solved.'

It's strange how all these foreign types suddenly look a whole lot more attractive, isn't it Martin?

Ah Go On, One More
Mediawatch is starting to feel dizzy after all these U-turns, but we couldn't ignore Neil Custis' thoughts on 'trust' in The Sun.

Wrote Custis in March: 'They have to (trust David Moyes), otherwise they are admitting failure on a massive scale.

'Failure of their greatest manager in his choice of his successor. Failure in themselves for trusting Alex Ferguson in that act and backing the decision when people like Jose Mourinho were banging on the door. Failure to stand strong and be patient when the clamour grows for change. They have to trust as they did in Sir Alex when the plot appeared to have been lost between 2004-06.'

And today: 'Too much has been going wrong on and off the field for them to trust Moyes with the club's future and up to £200million on players this summer. Moyes took the cavalier flair out of United and replaced it with a functional, dull game. He was too cautious, always too concerned with the opposition.'

Writes Martin Samuel in the Daily Mail: 'It would have boiled down to a simple question by the end. Can we trust this man to spend £200m? The Glazers would have sifted through all the available evidence and decided they could not. And David Moyes will cease to be Manchester United manager at the end of this season, or perhaps sooner.'

Sooner, Martin. Definitely sooner.

No Comment
"I don't like to talk on the back of when managers get sacked," said Dwight Yorke on Sky Sports, before talking in great length about how David Moyes was never right for Manchester United and how he thought all along that Ryan Giggs would have been a better choice from the outset. Top work.

Forget David Moyes' reported £4.5m pay-off for ten months of abject failure, because the Daily Mail's Adrian Durham claims the manager also deserves an apology - from the man who appointed him in the first place.

'Sir Alex Ferguson needs to apologise to Manchester United fans. And to David Moyes,' writes Durham for the MailOnline.

'Back in December I was at White Hart Lane to see Spurs draw 2-2 with Manchester United. The result left United eighth but only two points off the top four.

'That was the day I had it confirmed to me that Moyes' approach to the United job was all wrong. He said after the game: "The top of the table will sort itself out."'

Somehow Durham believes it's Ferguson's fault that Moyes didn't grasp his opportunity, though, wondering why the former United manager didn't, erm, continue to manage the situation.

'Surely Fergie didn't tell Moyes that 'the table would sort itself out' if United were struggling to make it into the top four by Christmas?' Durham continues.

'Fergie must have advised him about the players (Moyes hadn't a clue what his best XI was)?

'And what about the staff - didn't Fergie tell Moyes axing Mike Phelan and Rene Meulensteen and bringing in Steve Round might not go down well with the United squad?'

Or, Adrian, perhaps Ferguson wanted Moyes to have the freedom to run things his way. It's ridiculous to suggest he should apologise to Moyes for not telling him what to do every step of the way.

Eye On The Experts
With a hat tip to, here's a selection of quotes from the 'experts' when David Moyes was appointed just ten months ago.

"There is no question he has all the qualities we expect of a manager at this club." - Sir Alex Ferguson.

"We have secured a man who is committed to the long-term and will build teams for the future as well as now. Stability breeds success." - Sir Bobby Charlton.

"Yes, David Moyes would have actually been my choice. Bringing in foreigners, there's always a risk of them not settling down." - Martin Edwards, and Mediawatch's personal favourite.

'David Moyes the ideal choice to follow the greatest.' - the Manchester Evening News.

"I've seen some appointments in the last two years which, for me, show the nature of the modern world - a populist, short-term fix. Manchester United do not operate that way. They have an element of sense and they have always had that throughout the last 50 to 60 years." - Gary Neville.

"You can look at Moyes and say, 'this guy knows how to stay in a job for more than three years." - Peter Schmeichel.

Stand By Your Man
Said Bobby Charlton on March 25 as United's season careered from one disaster to the next: "It doesn't mean we are going to change everything. I'm absolutely certain that we picked the right man."

That's right, no-one's going to change anything. Not at this great club that stands against the immediacy of modern life.

Poor Dion
If anything sums up the protracted nature of Manchester United announcing David Moyes' departure, it's these two tweets - just a minute apart - on Tuesday morning:

'We'd like to wish a very happy birthday to Dion Dublin (@DionDublinsDube). The former #mufc striker turns 45 today.'

'BREAKING: Manchester United announces that David Moyes has left the club. #mufc'

Indeed, Mediawatch would argue that the way this sorry business has been handled over the past 24 hours illustrates perfectly why Moyes was far from the only problem at Old Trafford this season.

Manchester United supporters will be hoping the club don't take The Sun's advice when recruiting a new manager, given the pros and cons they list for five potential replacements.

On why United might not want to appoint Diego Simeone, The Sun comment: 'Feigned injury to get David Beckham sent off in 1998 World Cup.'

Forget winning the Europa League and Copa del Rey with Atletico, forget that he's taken the club to the top of La Liga and the Champions League semi-finals - you don't want Simeone because he once feigned injury when a former United player kicked him.

How about Ancelotti? 'Managed Chelsea'.

Mediawatch isn't sure The Sun have got the hang of this.

Martin Keown seems awfully confused by David Moyes' dismissal, writing in his 'Insight' column for the Daily Mail:

'It is the players who are supposed to be on trial, not the manager.

'When you start at a new club, you need to work out quickly who your best players are and then formulate a system that will suit them.

'Moyes failed to do either, picking 51 different starting XIs in his 51 games in charge. Moyes couldn't crack the code and at times his system seemed old-fashioned.'

Right, the players should have been on trial, not the manager. But the manager trialled his players in 51 different line-ups in 51 games and still couldn't work out his best team. So who's to blame here?

Tim Nice But Dim
Tim Sherwood has a self-professed eye for a talent, this week claiming that he was responsible for alerting Tottenham and Daniel Levy to the talents of Christian Eriksen.

"I watched him at 17 years of age at Wembley for Denmark and I rang (chairman) Daniel Levy the day after and said that he needs to sign this boy - £10m later he is finally here, so that is all good news. I don't think he was available [at the time] and I think he wanted to continue his education at Ajax and that is what happened."

Not everyone at 17 years of age makes the grade, but Sherwood knew Eriksen was special. Top marks, Tim.

Well, it would be top marks if he was telling the truth. You see, in an interview for the Football Association website a fortnight ago, Eriksen revealed that he had never in fact played at Wembley.

The Denmark U17 team did play at Wembley in 2010, but Eriksen did not play, only ever playing once against England in Copenhagen in 2011.

So, Sherwood can recall exactly a conversation with Daniel Levy, but yet be two years out with the date, and in a completely different stadium in an entirely different country? Either that or someone is telling porkies.

What's more, even if Tim is mis-remembering the date and geographical location, it makes his claims about scouting Eriksen a whole lot weaker.

When the midfielder impressed against England in 2011, Eriksen was five days short of his 19th birthday. The morning after the match even SHOUTsport ran a story headlined 'The Player Every Club Wants', in which they report interest from Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United, AC Milan and Barcelona.

Not exactly the unearthed diamond Tim would have you believe.

Headline in the Daily Mirror: 'Time to follow Tim's example'

Below, Dave Kidd writes: 'Sherwood has spoken more sense about modern players in five months than most managers do in a lifetime.

'If every boss took the same approach, football would be a more open and likeable industry.'

For journalists perhaps, but it's unlikely the players would be happy with constantly being criticised in public. And which is the most important? Actually, don't answer that.

Intro in the Metro: 'Steve Bruce is sweating on injuries to two of his most potent attackers ahead of next month's FA Cup final against Arsenal. Shane Long went off at half-time with a calf injury during Sunday's clash with the Gunners, with Sone Aluko already absent with a hamstring problem.'

Would that be the same Shane Long who is cup-tied for next month's FA Cup final against Arsenal?

Headline Of The Day
'The End Of An Error' - Mediawatch is a big fan of this headline in the Daily Mirror.

Worst Headline Of The Year

Non-Football Story Of The Day
'A middle-aged prisoner broke out of jail to flee loud rap music being played 'day and night' on his wing, a court heard.

'Robert Stevens, 58, a convicted robber, was fed up of the constant din of the music played by younger fellow inmates.

'He had also become irritated with being "constantly pestered" to buy drugs from younger cellmates inside HMP Leyhill minimum security prison in Gloucestershire, the court was told.

'Roberts climbed over a security wall to escape the category D jail before walking several miles to the nearest town.

'The fugitive, who had been serving a six-and-a-half year sentence for robbery, spent 20 days at large in various towns in the south west. Police issued a public appeal to find him and he was finally caught while visiting a Corals bookmakers in Bridport, Dorset, on March 29.

'Roberts admitted a charge of escape from HMP Leyhill and was given an extra 10 months to serve on top of his current sentence. Jamie Porter, defending, said: "He was in a very noisy wing where rap music was being played day and night.' - The Telegraph.

Thanks to today's Mediawatch spotter Nik Roseveare. If you spot anything that belongs on this page, mail us at, putting 'Mediawatch' in the subject field.

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