David Moyes: A better Man United manager than Matt Busby

Date published: Thursday 20th December 2018 12:07 - Matthew Stead

Watch out boy, she’ll chew you up


As one of the most coveted managers in the world, Mauricio Pochettino is unlikely to have requested career advice from Martin Samuel, but alas, the Daily Mail‘s chief sports writer is not a man who likes to be ignored.

He has penned an entire column telling Pochettino that he ‘must think twice about joining an unstable empire’ at Manchester United: a club whose last three managers have been ‘chewed up and spat out’. A club who, we are told, is ‘now a manager-eater’.

It is at this point that Mediawatch must remind you that you cannot possibly be or do both of those things.

Anyway, David Moyes and Louis van Gaal were both given until Champions League qualification was no longer possible before they were sacked. United only got rid of Jose Mourinho when they fell 19 points behind the Premier League leaders and 11 points off the top four after 17 games. If anything, all three weren’t chewed up and spat out/eaten quickly enough.

‘Three respected figures have been rendered close to untouchable by any elite club in the immediate aftermath of their dismissal by United.’

Yes, the only reason Barcelona haven’t swooped for David Moyes is because United sacked him. It is nothing to do with the fact he was never good enough to manage them in the first place. And saying Moyes ‘has never returned to Champions League level’ is quite something; his only previous experience at that level was losing both legs of a qualifier in 2005.

Samuel goes on to tell Pochettino to ‘think long and hard about his next career move’, and that United ‘are a different animal, with very different expectations’. Pochettino’s record at Tottenham ‘would put him on the borderline if transposed to Manchester’, apparently.

The article ends thus: ‘This is not the club it once was. It is a big club, a wonderful club – but a problem club. It is making fools of men who thought they knew how to win, casting shadows on their career paths and traducing reputations as it thrashes around for answers to its malaise.’

United have had three permanent bosses in the last four-and-a-half years, and four since 1986. Tottenham had three permanent bosses in the four years that preceded Pochettino’s arrival, and eight since 2000. Which club is the ‘manager-eater’ again?


Custis cream
Not content with his textbook revisionism over Mourinho, Neil Custis has taken the opportunity to set his stall out now on his most likely replacement. Pochettino, it seems, is a fraud.

Now, even to the naked eye those figures look wrong. Mourinho did somehow win 58.3% of his United matches, but Pochettino has not taken Tottenham from sixth place to title contenders in four years on the back of winning less than half his games with the club.

An hour after his initial Twitter post, Custis realised his mistake. Pochettino’s carter win rate might be comparatively poor due to spells with Espanyol and Southampton, but his record at Tottenham is actually much closer to that of Moirinho’s on a fraction of the budget.

Last night’s victory over Arsenal took that Tottenham win rate to 56.6% over 244 games, which really is rather impressive when you consider he took over a club that had finished a distant sixth under Tim Sherwood. Mourinho’s United win rate is indeed better at 58.3%, but was achieved in fewer games (144), having taken over a club that finished level on points with fourth.

Pochettino has also spent £256.7m over nine transfer windows, while Mourinho spent £358.85m over five transfer windows.

Also, Pochettino’s Premier League win rate at Tottenham is 59.1% over 169 games. Mourinho’s at United is 53.7% over 93 games. Context is important, Neil.

You see, without context you would be forced to accept that if Mourinho is better than Pochettino based purely on win rate, then David Moyes (52.94% win rate) was a better United manager than Matt Busby (50.4% win rate). And that your mate Louis van Gaal is the fifth-best United manager in history.



Fergie time
Custis, to be fair, has a great back-page exclusive for The Sun on Thursday. Paul Pogba did a big old swear.

It is quite the scoop. But who does he share the back page with? Sir Alex Ferguson, who has reportedly given his ‘backing’ to Pochettino and is ‘championing his cause’ to become the next United manager.

Who to believe? Ferguson, with his 59.67% win rate at United? Or Custis, with his 0% success rate of being on time for flights to Europa League games?


Dirty Harry
One person whose opinion on the United manager situation has not yet been garnered is Harry Redknapp. talkSPORT right that supposed wrong.

“It was a big shock to me when his [Solskjaer’s] name got mentioned yesterday,” he said. Of course it was.

“I thought a Steve Bruce or somebody. If they’re looking for a short-term appointment until the end of the year. He knows the game, he knows the club – he captained the club. Someone like that I thought might go in and take it until the end of the season.

“Solskjaer didn’t strike me as being the person for the time. He looks a nice lad but he doesn’t strike me as being a manager of Man United. I think the Bruce’s of this world… I could see him being more of a leader and being someone to go in there and hit them.”

Again, Bruce spent fewer years at United as a player than Solskjaer, so the argument that he “knows the club” is a load of b*llocks. And Solskjaer is a former United coach, so why doesn’t he “strike” you “as being a manager of Man United”?

Also, after the volatile management of Mourinho, what this United squad definitely needs is someone to “go in there and hit them”. Which clearly “only the Bruce’s of this world” can do.

Both Solskjaer and Bruce are horribly inexperienced with regards to managing Man United. Stop pretending one is more qualified than the other because he’s your mate.



That’s a rap
Writes Mark Irwin on the back page of The Sun:

‘Dele Alli was struck on the head by a plastic water bottle thrown by an Arsenal fan as ugly scenes marred this Carabao Cup quarter-final.

‘The Tottenham scorer was fuming after the 73rd-minute incident and goaded home supporters with a ‘2-0’ hand gesture.

‘He rapped: “It made my goal and the win a little bit sweeter.”‘

Sick bars.


Recommended reading of the day
Jonathan Wilson on Jose Mourinho.

Jack Pitt-Brooke on Mauricio Pochettino.


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