Moyes answers didn't add up

  • By: Nick Hext
  • Last Updated: April 23 2014, 7:56 BST

Our Nick Hext gives his verdict on the end of David Moyes' time in charge of Manchester United after just 316 days.

  • David Moyes: Time in charge at Manchester United is over
  • United didn't play 'very well' in the 2-0 defeat at Everton 
  • There was backing for Moyes when this banner took to the skies... 
  • But another bad day was always around the corner 

"You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time."

David Moyes would have done well to heed the words of Abraham Lincoln rather than try to tell Manchester United fans to ignore the obvious during his 316 days in charge at Old Trafford.

Take a look at this selection of quotes following United defeats over the course of the season.

Everton (Premier League) - lost 2-0, April 20

"We played very well in the first half. We had passed the ball really well, kept the ball but we didn't have the final pass, the killer through ball that was needed in the final third. I didn't think we deserved to go in 2-0 down at half-time, that's for sure. We had good play, good control of the game, and we had the bulk of the ball."

Chelsea (Premier League) - lost 3-1, January 19

"I thought we did a lot of good things today. We have players to come back, and this is a project I know that I'm going to improve as it goes along. I was hoping to win more and be competing a bit more than we've been, but that'll come."

Sunderland (Capital One Cup semi-final first leg) - lost 2-1, January 7

"The players deserved it (a better result) because they did well enough to get a result. We'll do everything we can to try and get it right. The players put in a strong performance tonight, it just didn't quite come off. But it's not far away and it's coming, I can sense it.

Tottenham (Premier League) - lost 2-1, January 1

"I am not frustrated. I thought we played really well. Today was a defeat of course, but we deserved to win, or at worst draw."

Everton (Premier League) - lost 1-0, December 4

"I'm disappointed to lose but that is the way the game goes sometimes. The game was tight. We missed some opportunities to score and Everton took it when they got their opportunity."

Liverpool (Premier League) - lost 1-0, September 1

"We played very well. If you look at the games against Swansea, Chelsea and today, we have played well. We scored all our goals in the first game, but played well, and limited teams to very few opportunities."

Back in September after the 4-1 humiliation at Manchester City, I claimed Moyes needed to change his narrative as everyone could see that one point from matches against Chelsea, Liverpool and City wasn't good enough.

He didn't and it at the very least helped speed up his departure. How many people who watched Sunday's defeat at Everton would agree United played "very well" as they went in 2-0 down at half-time? You would do well to find one person outside of the Red Devils coaching staff.

Moyes hasn't been able to convince United fans that he's the right man for the job ever since the heavy defeat at the Etihad - West Brom's 2-1 victory at Old Trafford came just one week later - with an awful performance always lurking around the corner.

The best performance of his reign came in a superb 5-0 destruction of Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League at the end of November. The next midweek saw United lose 1-0 at home to Everton.

There was always a fresh storm on the horizon.

Position Player Score
1 Liverpool 80
2 Chelsea 75
3 Man City 74
4 Arsenal 70
5 Everton 69
6 Tottenham 63
7 Man Utd 57
8 Southampton 49
9 Newcastle 46
10 Stoke City 44

Sometimes a manager just isn't going to get things right at a football club. I'd put Owen Coyle's departure from Wigan and Richie Barker's Portsmouth exit in the same boat as Moyes' sacking.

All three are managers who have done very good jobs at other clubs - and given a chance will do so again - but after a short spell with their new employers it became clear something just wasn't right.

Gary Neville is correct to say the man in charge is "always the scapegoat" but questions have to be asked when a side who won the Premier League by 11 points drops to mid-table within a few months.

Moyes never had an answer for the questions.

'Bannergate' during the 4-1 win over Aston Villa showed the United fans could back their new chief but it was done in sympathy for a man targeted by a crass publicity stunt.

It was a clear example of keeping on track with Sir Alex Ferguson's call to the Old Trafford faithful at the end of his 26-year reign.

"Your job now is to stand by our new manager."

Team Score Team
Everton 2 - 0 Man Utd
Bay Munich 3 - 1 Man Utd
Newcastle 0 - 4 Man Utd
Man Utd 1 - 1 Bay Munich
Man Utd 4 - 1 A Villa
Man Utd 0 - 3 Man City
West Ham 0 - 2 Man Utd
Man Utd 3 - 0 Olympiakos
Man Utd 0 - 3 Liverpool
West Brom 0 - 3 Man Utd

The majority of United supporters did - at least when their backing was needed during games. The atmosphere at Old Trafford for the Champions League comeback against Olympiacos was overwhelmingly positive even before Robin van Persie set the revival in motion.

The hope from the stands was maybe, just maybe that win could lead to United going all the way in the Champions League.

They couldn't and the backing for Moyes very quickly went back to grudgingly dutiful rather than the unquestioning loyalty Ferguson enjoyed from the masses once he'd achieved legendary status.

Could Moyes be trusted to restructure United's defence in the summer? Was he going to find a way to integrate Juan Mata into the side? Would he get Robin van Persie to find his top form again on a consistent basis? Could he persuade the world's top players that he's the man to trust with their careers?

So many questions. All of them with answers that Moyes couldn't provide.

Everyone has been able to see things haven't been right at United this season. Claiming that the Red Devils have been consistently on the verge of the good times returning has been wholly inaccurate and destroyed the faith in Moyes' judgment.

The "Chosen One" has gone. Now we wait to see if the next "Chosen One" has the answers.