Say What

Saturday, 26 April 2014 | MYT 6:28 PM

A necessary d-evil

Back together. Ryan Giggs (right) has been put in temporary charge of Manchester United and he has brought in ex-star player Paul Scholes to be part of the coaching staff. - AFP

Back together. Ryan Giggs (right) has been put in temporary charge of Manchester United and he has brought in ex-star player Paul Scholes to be part of the coaching staff. - AFP

YES, it was harsh, cruel even. But, David Moyes just had to go.

The method of his sacking could perhaps have been done in a more humane way, but in the end, he had lost the majority of the fans goodwill, he had lost the squad, and more importantly, he had lost the confidence of the board. This column has been consistent in calling for his head, and yet, when it happened there was an element of surprise.

The surprise was not that the “chosen one” was sacked, the surprise was that it was done with four games to go before the end of the season. As we await the inevitable big name signing to take over at the helm of this institution, it’s heartening to know that the reins have been passed to Ryan Giggs, albeit for only four matches.

Moyes’ sacking has been debated furiously on social media and there appears to be a large number of United fans who felt that he should have been given another season to turn things around. Even United diehard Gary Neville tweeted his disappointment at the manner of the manager’s dismissal.

Yet, all Red Devils welcome the appointment of Giggs. He has been a loyal servant, and there can be no better man to guide the club through the remaining matches and bring a sense of stability to the team.

Giggs’ first move has already won the backing of fans – bringing back Paul Scholes to be part of the coaching set-up. Scholes’s arrival (the first training session was on Friday) brings a decidedly 90s feel to United. Joining Giggs and Scholes are Nicky Butt and Phil Neville – all of them steeped in the best traditions of the Ferguson-era. So, what then can we expect from United in the remaining four matches?

They have three home matches coming up, starting with Norwich City on Saturday, followed by Sunderland on May 3 and Hull City on May 6. United round-up their worst ever season since the Premier League started by playing away to Southampton. 

All these matches are definitely winnable, despite our wretched form, but the irony is that even if Giggs turns things around and wins all his remaining matches, United may end up finishing in seventh, exactly where they start on Saturday.

The Red Devils have a game in hand over Tottenham in sixth place and they are three points behind. To qualify for the Europa League, United would need to win all their matches and hope that Spurs slip up in one of their remaining three matches. A superior goal difference should then see the Manchester club in the Europe fray.

That in itself would be a minor miracle as United’s form since the turn of the year has been nothing short of dreadful. United followers around the world will want to forget this season in a hurry. 

Not only have the Red Devils taken a mighty drop from being the champions last season, it appears that their bitter rivals Liverpool are about to clinch the league title – the first time in 24 years! The coincidence is amazing – Sir Alex knocked them off their perch and the season he departs – they are back on top. Oh, the irony of it all.

It’s hard to take as a United fan, but the league table does not lie. Liverpool are on top for a reason. They have played the best football and deserve to win the title. 

So, congratulations to Liverpool fans (unless by some miracle Chelsea or City pip them). Remember, it won’t be long though before Giggsy and Co are back. You can’t keep the TRUE champions down for long.

Tags / Keywords: Ryan Giggs , David Moyes , Paul Scholes , Manchester United , football , Old Trafford , English Premier League


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