Friday 2 December 2016

Moyes plight proves player power will always call the shots

Published 01/03/2014 | 02:30

David Moyes endured yet another difficult night watching his Manchester United team against Olympiakos in the Champions League last Tuesday
David Moyes endured yet another difficult night watching his Manchester United team against Olympiakos in the Champions League last Tuesday

Some years ago, Niall Quinn told me the story of a Sunderland footballer who decided he'd had enough of life in England's north-east. His desire to get a transfer was articulated by the virtual downing of tools.

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In pre-season, the player barely broke sweat, strolling through sessions with the urgency of a swaying oak tree. Heart monitors measured individual energy expenditure and, in his case, he could have been out walking an arthritic dog.

Manager and team-mates fumed, because – deep down – they knew precisely where this was leading to. He was one of the club's bigger earners and someone, thus, who knew that his talent had a market.

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