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David Moyes will be tormented by his failure at Old Trafford

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David Moyes will be tormented by his 10 months at Old Trafford. Photo: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

David Moyes will be tormented by his 10 months at Old Trafford. Photo: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

David Moyes will be tormented by his 10 months at Old Trafford. Photo: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

For some time now we have all wondered just exactly how long would be deemed long enough. This week we got an answer. The timing is no surprise.

Manchester United's season is over. It has been since April 9 when Bayern Munich ended their involvement in the Champions League. And for a club deemed to be one of the world's biggest, such realities aren't acceptable. In 10 months everything has changed for United.

Worryingly for United fans the consequences of such changes may well be evident for some time. David Moyes has left his mark at Old Trafford, and the prospect of handing him in excess of £200m to replenish the squad was a gamble beyond the reasoning of the business men in control at United.

It's difficult to make a credible argument against such logic. In 10 months there hasn't been enough evidence to suggest Moyes has the capability to turn the situation around.

From the beginning he never appeared as though he was in control. It was as though he was overawed by the size of the club.

In December, I wrote that the first five months of Moyes' tenure suggested he was out of his depth. Even then the signs were ominous.

His soundbites to the media were laden with naivety. It was clear he was giving his all but his skill-set was inadequate.

This is something Moyes must now live with, and for a man who has worked so hard, the reality of failing will hurt deeply. Ten months have undermined years of graft. He will be tormented by his time in Manchester.

He will wonder what he could have done differently and who really was to blame for his failure.

I have huge sympathy for Moyes. Good people don't always get their just rewards. The statement released by the club following his dismissal was telling. Reference to Moyes' hard work, honesty and integrity was notable. All valuable worthwhile attributes, but for United they weren't enough. While his time at Everton was a qualified success, their status is considerably short of the echelons in which United exist.

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Considerable time and achievement is needed for him to put distance between himself and the disaster that was his reign at Old Trafford.

When he was deemed to be Alex Ferguson's chosen one, Jose Mourhino allegedly claimed of Moyes "But he has won nothing!" It was a fact too many people overlooked. I wonder is it realistic to expect players decorated with countless medals to take guidance from a man who won nothing?

Players are extremely well paid but first and foremost they are human. And in whatever walk of life, human nature dictates people struggle with taking direction from someone unproven at the requisite level.

If respect isn't sufficiently high, however hard one tries, over time the performance levels of employees fall.

Moyes' CV was there for all to see and Ferguson, along with the members of United's boardroom displayed naivety in expecting proven winners to bow to the demands of a man who after a lifetime in the game had never shown himself to be of their ilk.

MASSIVE

The decision-makers at Old Trafford are now under massive pressure, and whatever else Moyes' replacement brings, respect among the playing staff must be a priority.

Regardless of the deficiencies in United's squad, if the players are performing at optimum levels, there is a prospect of success.

Supporters of Moyes claimed United's squad contains too many average players thereby presenting the manager with a hopeless task and one which required considerable investment.

I never fully subscribed to such theories, for I think the input from United's touchline was the greatest contributor to a dismal season.

When Bayern Munich visited Old Trafford for the first leg of their quarter-final clash, United's players were clearly motivated by the enormity of the tie and the reputations of their opponents.

They performed in way which contradicted suggestions that the squad needed a massive overhaul.

The performance was a glimpse of the recent past and a telling illustration of Moyes' shortcomings.

He clearly had the material at his disposal. He just couldn't find a way. How ironic that his tenure should be called to a halt following his return to the place he grafted so diligently to earn the opportunities presented to him. Now Goodison Park will forever hold mixed memories for Moyes.

Such is life. Nothing is guaranteed even for the very best of people. Somehow a way must be found to make things happen.

David Moyes didn't get what he deserved at United. For that he has only one man to blame.

 

Munster can thrive with backs to wall

Not for the first time in their rich history Munster face an enormous task in Marseille tomorrow – maybe as big a challenge as they have ever known.

But days such as these have made Munster the animal they are, and they thrive in the environment we will witness tomorrow.

Enemy territory with backs firmly to the wall... Munster's ability to find a way to win has become legendary; the more they are written off, the more dangerous they are. History illustrates as much. For this reason alone they will be dangerous opponents.

With a formidable Heineken Cup pedigree to reference, they know what it will take to beat Toulon and reach another final.

Their French opponents displayed awesome power when beating Leinster in the quarter-finals and if there's to be any prospect of victory, Munster must live with the ferocious strength of the Toulon pack.

In this context, the loss of Peter O'Mahony is heightened and places greater emphasis on the influence of Paul O'Connell.

After 14 years in the red of Munster, O'Connell's importance has never been so crucial, but he's a man who doesn't know how to disappoint those who are so expectant.

Traditionally Munster's greatest days have been built on the endeavours of their forwards, and more than most they could well be suited to the challenge presented by the power of the Toulon's front eight.

If they do so successfully then come tomorrow evening, Munster's faithful will be readying themselves for another Heineken Cup final.


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