The misery continues. Another defeat. Three precious points lost, I should say. This time at home, to a spirited West Bromwich side that stunned the football world, fans and neutrals alike. While Steve Clarke seemed to have clearly won the battle of wits on the pitch, his counterpart David Moyes is notably struggling both on and off it. Some of his quotes have unsettled a fair section of the supporters and we will know how they have affected the players themselves only by seeing their performances in the forthcoming fixtures.
We, the fans, have been used to seeing Sir Alex Ferguson’s post match interviews that are usually fuming (especially after a loss) a jibe at the referee and the opposition manager but we have always been assured by his insanely positive, encouraging words. He has never given in to any result. After every bad result we faced, he always said we were going to bounce back and hell, we always did. The ‘never give up’ attitude was literally injected into the club’s heart and soul and we were running away with it, with them results nine times out of ten.
Every person is unique, they say. And now our current manager David Moyes’ post-match interviews are contrasting to what we were being used to. Well. Some of his comments are ill-timed and quite ill-informed given the amount of pressure we are in at this very moment. And in fact I found some of them contradicting his own statements in the past. Though I’m not in a position to comment on what he exactly wanted to convey through those, some of them ‘lack of class’ stuff could possibly depress a few players.
Lets go back to that not-so-dramatic deadline day of the transfer window, shall we? This is what Moyes said regarding the so-called quality of the squad.
”We’ll continue working for what’s left of it (transfer window), to try and get what we can in but from what I saw of the players, I’m more than happy with the players I’ve already got.”
Deep down, we all knew we had to add a couple of players to continue to challenge for silverware, both domestic and Europe. Moyes kind of saved Woodward’s face there with that statement of his. And on Saturday, right after the game against West Brom, he was publicly indicating his displeasure with the quality he was seeing. And he made his thoughts about the squad clear to the masses which was quite opposite to what he’d said on the deadline day.
“I don’t think it’s actually the squad, I think we’ve got the numbers. I think maybe we have got work to do to bring in players not for the squad but to go right into the team”. “It’s not necessarily the squad players we needed, we needed one or two who might have gone in [to the team]. That will happen. But going back to that transfer window, we always said it was going to be a tough one and it was going to take a little bit more time.”
And regarding the European ambitions, he made it quite clear we are not in for it this time, with THIS squad. Again, one may wonder why he had to say that ever so blatantly. A gentle whisper in his ear – This squad did trouble a mammoth Real Madrid side last time around. Yes. This very squad did. Add to that a league victory with a lead of more than ten points than second-placed Manchester City.
Was the pressure getting on him? Or was it a statement to the Glazers, letting them know they have to splash the cash, come january? Or was that his way of improving his current players, making them more determined to prove him wrong in the process? Well whatever that was, those negative comments are not going to bode well with most of the supporters.
“If you look at Bayern Munich, they have five or six really world-class players, and to win it [Champions League] you might have to have that in your squad”. “Look at Barcelona, who had it in the past, and Real Madrid have maybe got it now”. “That’s the level you have to get at to win it. We’ve not got that yet. What we have got is experience and several players who are in that category or close to it”.
Ex-Goalkeeper coach Eric Steele has recently told the media that David Moyes wanted his own men to assist him in his new venture ignoring Sir Alex’s advice to retain his staff, a move that could have made the transition smoother. Again, I trust David Moyes’ decision and laud his faith in his own staff and ability. But what I feel many of us want is more positivity in his post-match interviews and a greater amount of confidence in them in the future. Someone has to address him on that particular issue. SIR ALEX ARE YOU LISTENING?