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Friday 23 February 2018

Irish Red Devils boss: Moyes was unlucky

Sam Griffin

Frank O'Farrell became the only Irishman to date to manage Manchester United after Matt Busby retired but was sacked some 18 months later. Right, Frank today. Des BArry

MANCHESTER United's only non-British manager can empathise with the plight of David Moyes.

Irishman Frank O'Farrell was unceremoniously sacked by the powers-that-be at Old Trafford in December 1972 after just 18 months in the hot seat.

Like Moyes, the Cork native had the unenviable task of filling big boots – in his case those of Matt Busby, one of the most revered and successful managers in club football.

Now 87 and living in Torquay in England, Mr O'Farrell says he is not surprised by the reports of the pending departure of Moyes as manager due to the cut-throat nature of club football.

"It's rehashing an old story isn't it really? It's happened before and it will happen again. It happens quite often in football," he told the Irish Independent.

"I'm sorry to see he could lose his job. I wouldn't wish that on anybody. They're looking for results quicker than they can be provided. It's a tough old game. It's hard to win a league and there can only be one winner. The rest are the also-rans.

"But certainly he should be given more time."

Mr O'Farrell, who enjoyed a near 20-year playing career before going on to manage a string of domestic and international sides, criticised how football clubs are being run.

He pointed out that both Alex Ferguson, who Moyes replaced after more than 20 years of success, and Busby struggled in their early years at the helm.

He said: "I don't know what they're (football club owners) looking for. Some of them don't even watch the team playing.

"They're wealthy business people who have no football background. They have money and they buy clubs like they buy antiques.

"Matt Busby took over in 1945 and didn't win anything for three years. It takes a while to build to get all the pieces together that you want. It takes time, but he survived that and went on to be quite successful afterwards."

Moyes is far from finished in football, according to O'Farrell, and says he expects the former Everton boss will make a return to management sooner rather than later should the reports of his demise prove correct.

On the parallels between his dismissal and the fate of Moyes, he says only: "I suppose you could look at it like that. You could see similarities there really.

"You can't win all the matches and losing is a part of the job. It always will be so and it's no surprise really that things like this happen on a fairly regular basis."

Irish Independent

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