The ex-Liverpool defender, Jamie Carragher has spoken about struggling United manager David Moyes and has likened his turbulent streak at the Old Trafford outfit to that of present England national coach Roy Hodgson at Liverpool, in his column for the Daily Mail,
Hodgson was sacked by Liverpool midway through the season after sub-par performances by the Merseyside club and it remains to be seen that the United board would carry out the same decision with Moyes in the near future, or be more patient with the Scot for long-term success.
For the recently retired defender though, there are signs at Manchester United, that remind him of Hodgson’s stint as Liverpool boss. He writes:
“Watching United labour against Olympiacos brought back memories of the situation Roy Hodgson experienced in his brief stay at Liverpool in 2010; the shock home defeats, the unexpected cup exits and certain players letting the manager down badly
“If a manager loses his players, there is often no way back and an issue Moyes has to contend with at the moment is the fact he is the focus of the criticism; United’s players will know this and can hide behind that, rather than looking at their own shortcomings. Again, that happened with Hodgson.”
Carragher went on to liken Van Persie to Chelsea’s Fernando Torres, but when the Spaniard was at Liverpool under Roy Hodgson:
“The way Robin van Persie, for instance, is playing reminds me of the way Fernando Torres was with Hodgson. His goal record might be good, as was Torres’ for Hodgson, but the quotes that he has made and the stories surrounding him make it feel like Van Persie isn’t behind Moyes.
“He didn’t miss a game last season in the Barclays Premier League but this year he has been in and out – is he thinking about the World Cup? – while his demeanour has served only to increase the perception there are problems. Torres did exactly the same”
The now football pundit also writes that Moyes would have been shown the door had he been at Chelsea or Real Madrid:
“The powerhouses, from Chelsea to Real Madrid to Bayern Munich, do not suffer the kind of season Manchester United have endured without taking ruthless action, and defeat like the one against Olympiacos would have been the end for Moyes anywhere else.
“Chelsea, remember, sacked Andre Villas-Boas after a dreadful 3-1 defeat against Napoli at the same stage of the Champions League two years ago”
Carragher called Moyes ‘shell-shocked’, especially after United’s surprise, or some would argue not-so-surprise loss in Greece
To see Moyes now, he looks shell-shocked. The Moyes I knew at Everton would never have been so amenable in television interviews after seeing his side perform as badly as United did in Greece.
When he was at Everton, you would see the anger in his face and his answers would be short. You knew he felt let down by his team but, equally, you knew he would drag a response out of his team.
Carragher, the boyhood Everton supporter, feels that Moyes might be caught between United’s way and his own mentality:
“It is almost as if he’s caught between the Manchester United way and his own mentality. He is not a front-foot manager – that is not a criticism, as neither is Jose Mourinho – but there doesn’t look to be any fizz or fight about United. They don’t look to be one thing or the other.
“I’d go as far as to say this is the slowest United side I have seen and in Piraeus they looked like a team of old men coming to the end. Facing United used to be unnerving, as you never knew how they would play”
Carragher went on to praised Moyes and gave him credit for his previous managerial works and said that managers often have a terrible first season, but recover afterwards:“He did a magnificent job at Preston and took them to the brink of the Premier League before losing the play-off final against Bolton in 2001; the work he did in reviving Everton was beyond question but in those legacy-defining games – Villarreal (2005), Chelsea (2009), Liverpool (2012) – it was just one hurdle too many.
“It is not unusual, of course, for managers to have poor first seasons at big clubs before turning things round. Gerard Houllier, Rafa Benitez (Istanbul apart!) and Brendan Rodgers all found life difficult at Anfield but there was no sense they were ever in trouble.
“They were given the confidence and belief to build their projects and that is what United are doing with Moyes. Deep down, though, he and his board will know they can’t keep on losing. He needs an attention-grabbing victory, the kind United used to achieve regularly, to settle the nerves.”