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Friday 19 September 2014

Ron Atkinson, the last manager fired by Man United, sings 'That's Life' while discussing Moyes' sacking on radio

Simon Rice

Published 22/04/2014 | 14:37

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Ron Atkinson, who ran into a Liverpool juggernaut
Ron Atkinson was the last manager to be sacked by Manchester United

Ron Atkinson, the last manager to be fired by Manchester United before today's dismissal of David Moyes, sang 'That's Life', the song popularised by Frank Sinatra, while speaking on live radio about the dismissal of David Moyes this morning.

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Speaking to Fubar Radio, Atkinson, who managed United prior to the appointment of Sir Alex Ferguson, offered his views on today's announcement that Moyes had been sacked before bizarrely launching into the song famously sang by the American crooner Sinatra in 1966.

When asked towards the end of the interview whether he still enjoyed singing, Atkinson, who was taking time out from a holiday in Tenerife to speak to the radio station, began singing the words: "Coz that's life, that's what all the people say."

Atkinson then noted about the song: "It's a manager's song isn't it," before singing the words: "Riding high in April, you get shot down in May."

Before his more light hearted approach to the interview, Atkinson offered his views on the dismissal of Moyes, suggesting the unrest surrounding Wayne Rooney last summer may have played a part.

"There was the Rooney thing, was Rooney going to stay and all that," said Atkinson. "You had flocks of journalists following him (Moyes) and all that at a time when really he would have wanted to be preparing."

He also questioned whether Moyes had the support of some of United's most established player.

"I think there are senior players at the club who realise that glorious careers are coming to an end. There might be a bit of resentment that this is the man who is finally going to put the nail in our coffin."

There is speculation Rio Ferdinand, Ryan Giggs and Patrice Evra could all end their Old Trafford playing days at the end of the season while captain Nemanja Vidic has already agreed to join Inter Milan.

Atkinson added: "David Gill was a great administrator, he knew his way around football and would have been a great help to him (Moyes). But Gill (the former United chief executive) finished at the same time as Alex Ferguson."

Despite United enduring an incredibly poor season by their high standards, with the club currently sitting seventh in the table, Atkinson, who regularly contributes to United's in-house TV channel MUTV, said today's announcement had come as a surprise.

"I always got the distinction David was safe until this time next season. But it (the pressure) did seem to mount up after the Everton defeat."

Atkinson, who managed United from 1981-86, said he was was did not see it going so wrong for Moyes and said issues that have been a problem this year were covered over in Ferguson's last term in charge.

"There were a lot of ordinary performances last year but Robin van Persie would score a goal and that would cover it up, the level of performance."

Atkinson also felt Moyes may have been taken back by the enormity of the job he walked into after leaving Everton.

"Moyes is a good football manager. He's proven it at Preston and at Everton. I think he would have been very surprised at the interest and the intensity at Manchester United. Not just from Manchester but all over the world. Although Everton is a very big club that would have surprised him a lot."

Atkinson, who backed Moyes to make a return to management, offered his views on the possible replacements. Louis van Gaal, the Netherlands manager, has quickly emerged as the leading contender but the wisdom of appointing the Dutchman was questioned by Atkinson.

"Would Manchester United be happy with someone spending their whole summer out there (at the World Cup) when everyone knows they need to get players? That might just be a slight snag," he said. However, despite those concerns Atkinson said of van Gaal: "I think of the people available, he would probably be the front runner."

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