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Manchester United's coach David Moyes. Picture credit: REUTERS/Phil Noble

Manchester United's coach David Moyes. Picture credit: REUTERS/Phil Noble

Manchester United's coach David Moyes. Picture credit: REUTERS/Phil Noble

THE contentious 'Chosen One' banner will remain on display at Old Trafford despite a growing clamour for it to be removed in the wake of Manchester United's increasingly woeful season under David Moyes.

United stumbled to their sixth and perhaps most embarrassing home defeat of the season on Tuesday when they went down 3-0 to bitter rivals Manchester City.

The last time United lost so many home games in the league was in 1978.

Anger followed the defeat, with one fan having to be escorted out of the south stand after approaching the dugout to vent his anger against the United manager.

There were reports of fans aiming abuse at Moyes' predecessor Alex Ferguson, who was sat in the directors' box. Ferguson hand-picked Moyes from a strong field last summer.

For that reason, a banner has hung in the Stretford End that includes Moyes' face with the words 'The Chosen One' written alongside it.

Some fans called for the group that made the banner – Stretford End Flags (SEF) – to remove it following the 3-0 defeat to Liverpool.

And more fans called for its removal yesterday in the wake of a third successive home derby defeat.

Stewards also gathered around the banner at full-time to prevent it from being seized.

SONGS

It is understood that the SEF has no intention of taking the banner down ahead of Saturday's Premier League match against Aston Villa despite calls to do so on Twitter.

Although there were few – if any – boos from the home supporters who were left at the final whistle on Tuesday night, there was a noticeable lack of songs in support of Moyes.

The Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST) thinks it is understandable that the club's fans are disappointed by the fact that their team now sit seventh in the table, some 18 points adrift of leaders Chelsea.

"If your ego has been continuously set on success for 20 years and then suddenly you do not have it, it's obviously going to affect you emotionally in a difficult way," MUST spokesperson Sean Bones said.

MUST thinks United's troubles do not lie solely at the feet of their manager, however.

MUST believes a lack of investment from the Glazer family since their controversial takeover in 2005 has also been a key factor in United's failures this term. It believes the Glazers' refusal to go toe to toe with the likes of City in the transfer market has left United short on quality compared to their 'noisy' neighbours, who are now favourites for the title.

"We think the problems lie further deeper than David Moyes. They sit at the table of the Glazers," Bones said.

"The Glazers have not invested correctly at the critical times. The Glazers have had an element of success, but we feel that success was based on the investment made by the PLC in players like (Wayne) Rooney, (Cristiano) Ronaldo and Rio Ferdinand – the very best possible players and we invested in the Class of '92 and brought them through and the Glazers got the benefit of that.

SUCCESS

"And the problem is when you don't invest correctly at the critical points, you get yourself into the position where there is a huge chasm of class between the ones who have invested and the ones who haven't and it costs a lot more to repair the damage.

"Sometimes it can take a long time to repair it."

Meanwhile, Bryan Robson has written off United's chances of finishing in the top four, but the former captain insists the team should do everything they can to qualify for the Europa League. "We have to try to make sure we finish above Tottenham Hotspur and Everton in the table," said Robson, who made 461 appearances in 13 years at the club.

"We need that safety net of making sure we finish high enough in the Premier League to qualify for Europe.

"In my opinion, people are wrong to dismiss the Europa League.

"It is more or less a merger of the European Cup Winners' Cup and UEFA Cup and I fondly remember beating Barcelona in the 1991 European Cup Winners' Cup final.

"That was a fantastic night and the memory will never leave me. For me, as a former player, it would be a great achievement to win the Europa League."


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