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Alex Ferguson: It's 'Nonsense' That Moyes Inherited A Team In Decline

Gary Reilly
By Gary Reilly
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Autobiography season continues this week and now it's the turn of Sir Alex Ferguson to have his say on a tumultuous 12 months at Old Trafford. The former Man Utd manager has updated 'My Autobiography' which was first released in October 2013. That means we now get to opportunity to hear about the David Moyes era at Old Trafford and the role which Ferguson played in it.

Given that there is all of one year's worth of material to be updated, it will come as no surprise that the additional chapters focus heavily on David Moyes' appointment and his subsequent failure to adequately replace the legendary Scot. Despite heavy criticism of Moyes at the time, there has since been quite a bit of scrutiny placed on Ferguson's role in the appointment.

One of the main accusations aimed at Ferguson's is that he timed his departure to coincide with the natural decline of an ageing squad thus leaving Moyes with a near impossible task. However, Ferguson has said in his book that such ideas are 'nonsense'. Instead, he has pointed to Moyes' failure to adapt to the Man Utd way of playing, saying that the slow down in play was at odds with how the team were accustomed to playing.

According to Ferguson, "the reason for playing at speed was that United players had been accustomed to operating that way. If the tempo slowed for any reason, I would be into them at half-time. 'This is not us,’ I would say. Playing with speed never hindered our results. It was our way: energy and determination in the last third of the pitch."


Similarly, Ferguson has distanced himself from criticism that he and he alone decided on the appointment of Moyes without any outside help or due process. "There appears to be an accepted view out there that there was no process," says Ferguson. "Nonsense. We feel we did everything the right way: quietly, thoroughly, professionally."

Ferguson has also taken umbrage with Moyes' decision to instigate a complete change in the background staff at Old Trafford. Ferguson had advised the former Everton manager to retain the services of Mike Phelan, however, Moyes chose to ignore that advice, something which Ferguson feels was a critical mistake.

"Maybe David felt that at such a massive club he had to be sure that all corners were covered in terms of his support system. I felt that network was already there, with plenty of great people already in important slots."


"As the results deteriorated, each defeat was a hammer blow to him. I could see that in his demeanour. In January we bought Juan Mata and that gave everyone a lift but I could see the walls squeezing in, leaving David with less and less room to breathe. I know that feeling from 1989, when we went through a terrible spell. You feel you are being crushed. The results gnawed away at David. Nobody could dispute how disappointing the season was. And it cost a man his job."

[The Guardian]


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