Man United fire Moyes over season of disaster
MANCHESTER - Agence France-Presse
Moyes was fired as Manchester United manager, paying the price for the club's spectacular and sudden decline in his 10 months in charge since replacing Alex Ferguson. AP PhotoManchester United on Tuesday sacked manager David Moyes after a disastrous ten-month spell running the world-famous club which has been left in turmoil.
The club followed the stunning announcement by naming veteran midfielder Ryan Giggs as interim manager.
Moyes, 50, succeeded Alex Ferguson at the helm of the Premier League side on July 1. But the season quickly became a nightmare for Moyes who watched his team slump to a series of embarrassing defeats.
After feverish speculation, United confirmed the sacking in a brief statement.
"Manchester United announces that David Moyes has left the club.
"The club would like to place on record its thanks for the hard work, honesty and integrity he brought to the role," it said.
A second statement added that the 40-year-old Giggs, "the club's most decorated player, will assume responsibility for the first team until a permanent appointment can be made."
Manchester United players had training amid an intense media spotlight. But the club said no further comment would be made "on this process until it is concluded."
Experienced Dutch coach Louis Van Gaal emerged as the British bookmakers' favourite to succeed Moyes on a permanent basis.
The 62-year-old, whose previous clubs include Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern Munich, recently expressed a desire to work in England. His contract as manager of the Netherlands expires after this year's World Cup in Brazil.
Jurgen Klopp of Borussia Dortmund, another rumoured contender, ruled himself out of the running.
Klopp told The Guardian newspaper: "Man United is a great club and I feel very familiar with their wonderful fans. But my commitment to Borussia Dortmund and the people is not breakable."
Moyes started a six year contract on July 1 in place of Ferguson, British football's most successful manager who reigned at United for 26 years.
The sacking came a year to the day after Manchester United had secured their 20th English title as a sendoff to Ferguson who hand-picked Moyes to succeed him.
Moyes has endured a torrid season and faced criticism from players.
United have slumped to seventh place in the league table and been eliminated from both domestic cup competitions and Europe's Champions League.
Moyes's last game in charge was Sunday's 2-0 loss at his former club Everton, which confirmed that United will not compete in the Champions League next season for the first time since 1995.
The 11th defeat of the league campaign left United 13 points below the Champions League qualifying places and 23 points behind leaders Liverpool.
Moyes's transfer dealings proved equally disappointing, with 27.5 million ($46.2 million, 33.5 million euros) midfielder Marouane Fellaini, signed from Everton, and 37.1 million record signing Juan Mata, who arrived from Chelsea in January, struggling to make an impact.
As a result, United's American owners, the Glazer family, reportedly felt uneasy about handing him the funds needed to rebuild the squad during the close season.
Giggs, United's record appearance-maker, was informed of the sacking after arriving at United's Carrington training ground near Manchester.
His first game in charge will be a league fixture at home to Norwich City on Saturday.
Giggs made his United debut in March 1991 and has made 962 appearances for the club, winning 13 Premier League titles, two Champions Leagues, four FA Cups, three League Cups and one FIFA Club World Cup.
He has no previous managerial experience, but has combined his role as a player with a position on United's coaching staff since the start of the current campaign.
The sacking became the talk of European football.
"I was a little surprised because Manchester United don't have that custom of sacking managers," said Real Madrid's Italian coach Carlo Ancelotti.
"I feel for David Moyes, but in general this is the life of a coach," Ancelotti added.
Former United player Gary Neville, now a television pundit and England assistant coach, said that while he was disappointed by the decision, Moyes's struggles had left the club in a difficult position.
"I think it could have been dealt with a whole lot better," Neville told Sky Sports News.
"I believe in managers being given time. However, there's no disguising that the football this season has been poor and the results have been poor. The performances have got worse and worse."
Andy Mitten, editor of the fanzine 'United We Stand', said the majority of supporters would support the decision to jettison Moyes.
"I don't think there will be many United fans who are too upset by the decision," he told BBC News.
"They know he is a good man, a good football manager, but he wasn't the right manager for Manchester United."