Manchester United coach David Moyes has been fired less than a year after he took over the job from Sir Alex Ferguson.
His dismissal was officially announced on Tuesday morning following widespread rumours of his imminent departure yesterday.
Moyes, who took the helm of the club following Ferguson’s 26-year reign ended ten months ago, was hand-picked by his predecessor and given a six-year contract.
The club has said that Ryan Giggs will take on the role of player-coach until the end of the English Premier League season. Some members of Moyes team have also left, including Jimmy Lumsden and Steve Round. However, Phil Neville and goalkeeping coach Chris Woods will stay at Old Trafford until the end of the season.
Moyes, who left Premier League club Everton to join the reigning champions, has had a torrid time in guiding the club to its worst season in decades. He suffered defeat in the Champions League quarter-final at the hands of Bayern Munich, was beaten in the League Cup semi-final by Sunderland, and the team’s recent defeat against Everton mean that it will miss out on the Champions League for the first time since 1995.
Manchester United are also languishing in seventh place in the league, 23 points behind current leaders Liverpool, and look set to finish with the lowest ever tally of Premiership points in the club’s history.
The 50-year-old Scot has also been dogged by rumours of dressing-room fall-outs with his team. Midfielder Anderson was quoted as saying that many other players “wanted out”, but later denied this. Striker Robin van Persie and defender Rio Ferdinand made clear their lack of faith, with Wilfried Zaha and Javier Hernandez tweeting cryptic messages also.
Moyes also felt the fans’ ire; a group of supporters hired a plane towing a banner which read “Wrong one – Moyes out” over Old Trafford during a game against Aston Villa in March, which was a reference to a banner displayed at the ground which identified Moyes as the “Chosen One”. Some supporters have even booed Sir Alex Ferguson for his poor choice in a successor.
Speculation is now rife about who will take one of the most coveted and demanding managerial jobs in soccer. Those at the forefront include Holland coach Louis van Gaal and current Paris St-Germain coach Laurent Blanc.