After having taken over the reins at Manchester United from Sir Alex Ferguson, who had a successful 26-year spell, David Moyes has ended up cutting a sorry figure. Moyes, who was given a lucrative six-year contract last summer, faced the axe on Tuesday after being only nine months in charge. The agony he faces isn`t something new, as over the years, managers across Europe have faced similar fate. Well, that`s the way modern football functions and Moyes too found himself being a part of the same show.
Sir Alex Ferguson repeatedly voiced his opinion in giving Moyes some time, as Man United had entered a period of transition, a phase which promised to spell a lot of changes. But modern football doesn`t have one thing; that is time. If a team fails to live up to expectations, the next moment the manager loses his job. Times have changed in such a way that clubs have grown commercially and are very result orientated. Except for few clubs, there is no more a culture of building a club and promoting youth.
In recent times, several managers have faced the axe and the number is a worrying figure. One bad season costs managers their job even if they have been successful in the build up to it. Chelsea have changed nine odd managers in the past six years, after Jose Mourinho`s sacking in 2007. Carlo Ancelotti, Roberto Di Matteo and Avram Grant, who were successful in winning trophies at Stamford Bridge, too faced the brunt when certain expectations weren`t met. Rafael Benitez, who won the double with Chelsea last year, wasn`t also offered a job on a permanent basis.
The pressing demands of the day also saw former Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini lose his job after City failed to defend the Premier League title last season. Before that, the Italian had brought two silverwares to the club after a gap of 44 years. He built a new City team as a side that could challenge in Europe. But his second placed finish last season and poor outcome in the Champions League cost him the job. Others like Harry Redknapp, who brought Tottenham amongst England`s top half, lost his job after Spurs were knocked out of a Champions League place even after finishing fourth in 2012. Chelsea won the CL title and gained automatic qualification and that cost Spurs a place in the competition and Redknapp his job. Before that, Spurs went on to reach the quarterfinals of the Champions League where they lost to Real Madrid under Redknapp.
Moyes was promised time at Manchester United, and picked up the spade after Fergie`s exit. But a disastrous campaign so far saw him falling in the same bracket of a commonly used term these days - `sacked`. It is not only the manager`s fault, because on the pitch it is the players who perform and United`s players have been dismal. A lot has been talked about all over the world over Moyes` negative tactics, the mistakes he made and the pressure he faced in his spell at Old Trafford. But even a club like Man United which boasts about a rich cultural heritage and its focus on building the club, fell in the same trap of quick managerial change.
Moyes had failed to press the advantage of instilling United`s fear amongst opponents and this saw United falter in every competition. But so did Brendan Rodgers in his first year in charge of Liverpool and where the Reds struck gold, United shipped out. Rodgers was promised the time he needed and in his second year, he has taken Liverpool to the top. At this time of the season and the way issues have been handled, it really isn`t quite United like. If the next United manager fails in getting back United atop, he too will face the same fate as Moyes.
Back in the time, Matt Busby and Alex Ferguson were given enough time to build the club and the rest was history. For Moyes, he couldn`t get the same luxury as his Scottish predecessors. Fergie wanted Moyes to get time, as he knew the position the latter was in, but footballing commercial geniuses think otherwise. This trend of perform or perish is not only dominant in big teams, but small teams as well. Managers can be sympathetic towards each other, but they have no choice but to swallow the bitter pill of footballing reality.