David Moyes has issued a statement hours after he was dismissed by Manchester United, 10 months into his six year contract.
The most telling aspect of the statement is his deliberate refusal to do what managers usually do in this situtation, namely thank the players for their contribution.
Again deliberately and pointedly, he thanks “the staff.” But he makes no reference to the players.
I think that tells you all you need to know about how let down he feels by several of the players, including senior ones.
Many of the players were briefing against him, leaking stories, complaints and tittle tattle to the press. One was even calling another manager telling him to hang on before accepting another job as “one will become available here soon.”
That’s Robin Van Persie. The same player who had complained that the Moyes inspired tactics had resulted in “another player getting into my space.”
You may recall that Van Persie – whose goals were vital to Man Utd winning the title last season – has been injured rather often this term. I expect him to rise, like a phoenix from the ashes, and once again be available for action sooner than he would have been had Moyes not been sacked.
Here is the statement from David Moyes: “To have been appointed as manager of Manchester United, one of the biggest football clubs in the world, was and remains something of which I will always be incredibly proud.
“Taking charge after such a long period of continuous stability and success at the club was inevitably going to be a significant challenge, but it was one which I relished and never had a second thought about taking on. The scale of the manager’s job at United is immense, but I have never stepped away from hard work and the same applies to my coaching staff. I thank them for their dedication and loyalty throughout the last season. We were fully focused and committed to the process of the fundamental rebuilding that is required for the senior squad. This had to be achieved whilst delivering positive results in the Barclays Premier League and the Champions League.
“However, during this period of transition, performances and results have not been what Manchester United and its fans are used to or expect, and I both understand and share their frustration. In my short time at the club I have learnt what special places Old Trafford and Carrington are. I would like to thank the United staff for making me feel so welcome and part of the United family from my first day. And of course thank you to those fans who have supported me throughout the season. I wish you and the club all the best for the future.
“I have always believed that a manager never stops learning during his career and I know I will take invaluable experience from my time as United’s manager. I remain proud to have led the team to the quarter finals of this year’s Champions League and I remain grateful to Sir Alex Ferguson for believing in my ability and giving me the chance to manage Manchester United.”
The League Managers Association chief executive Richard Bevan expressed his dismay at the way in which Moyes was sacked. He said: “The LMA is very disappointed with the nature of David’s departure from Manchester United and to read extensive reports in the press, confirming David’s sacking, before David himself had been spoken to officially by the club.
“Throughout his time at United, David, as he always does, has conducted himself with integrity and professionalism, values that he believes in and that have been strongly associated with the club and its rich tradition. It is therefore sad to see the end of David’s tenure at United being handled in an unprofessional manner.
“David is one of the most talented, knowledgeable and dedicated managers in British football. He has a wealth of experience accumulated in a management career that started when he was 35 and already spans 16 years, with over 800 games in the professional game. David is a three-time winner of the LMA Manager of the Year Award, and without a doubt, he has a significant future in front of him in football management. He is passionate about the game and I know he possesses the drive and resilience to learn from this chapter of his career and move on to a new challenge in the game.”