David Moyes has the support of the majority of the Manchester United fans who don’t believe he should be sacked, while supporters blame the players above the Scotsman for the team’s performances this season.
Last weekend, a ‘fly-pass’ was organised by a Manchester United supporters group, carrying the slogan; ‘The Wrong One – Moyes Out’, which flew over Old Trafford during the opening minutes of a game against Aston Villa. However, it appears that sentiment is not shared by the majority of Manchester United fans.
Of those surveyed, three out of five (60%) believe that David Moyes should not be sacked, as opposed to 28% who say he should and 13% who don’t know. Similarly, 58% believe Moyes will be in charge at the beginning of next season, against 27% who don’t think he will be.
Although a large group (42%) of supporters do blame Moyes for Manchester United’s position this year, a plurality (44%) say the players are most responsible. 6% blame Sir Alex Ferguson and 4% fault the Glazers.
One more positive for Moyes is that there does not appear to be an obvious outstanding candidate to take over should his job become truly vulnerable. When choosing between hypothetical candidates, respondents are split. 13% choose current player Ryan Giggs, the same percentage pick Borussia Dortmund’s current manager Jurgen Klopp and Everton’s Roberto Martinez. 12% say they would like Sir Alex Ferguson to return as manager. 17% said other.
Optimism remains among Manchester United fans. Despite the emergence of title-chasing Liverpool this season, as well as the continued financial might of Chelsea and cross-town rivals Manchester City, just under three quarters (72%) believe the club will return to the top four next season. 11% believe they will win the league next term, 7% say runners up and 54% say 3rd-4th place. Over three quarters (76%) believe they will add to their twenty league titles in two to five years.
Moyes has been admonished in the press due to the failure to attract top targets in the summer and January transfer windows. Despite this, a plurality (48%), trust him to rebuild the squad in the summer, compared to 37% who do not and 15% who don’t know.
However, Moyes’ style of football is criticised. Six in ten (62%) believe he uses the wrong tactics in games, as opposed to 18% who say he uses the correct tactics. His ‘marquee’ signing who followed Moyes from Everton to Manchester United, Maourane Fellaini, is also condemned as the player who has most disappointed this season by 43% of fans. Rio Ferdinand and Tom Cleverley follow on 9%.
Moyes’ cosy relationship with Sir Alex Ferguson does not escape scrutiny. Over a third (34%) believe he was appointed manager due to the fact he is friends with Ferguson. A fifth (21%) say it was because he was the best candidate for the job. The same amount say both equally.
Whether the overall support for Moyes can last until after the upcoming Champions League encounter against current holders Bayern Munich, remains to be seen.