No joke for United now as Moyes leaves Old Trafford

Tue Apr 22, 2014 6:55am EDT
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By Mike Collett

LONDON (Reuters) - After the announcement was made last May that David Moyes was to succeed Alex Ferguson as Manchester United's new manager, United, with the title already secured, had two more games to play before the end of the season.

They beat Swansea City 2-1 in Ferguson's last game at Old Trafford before his 1,500th and last match as United manager ended in a 5-5 draw at West Bromwich Albion.

After United squandered 3-0 and 5-2 leads with a shambolic defensive display at The Hawthorns, Ryan Giggs cracked a joke to Ferguson in the dressing room afterwards.

"David Moyes has just resigned," laughed Giggs.

The irony of that quip could hardly be exaggerated on Tuesday following the actual departure of Moyes and Giggs being put in charge of the last four games of the season.

Moyes had been Ferguson's hand-picked successor when he stepped down after a 26-year reign at Old Trafford - the Scot getting his own way with the board pretty much as he had always done during nearly three decades in which he turned United into one of the dominant forces in world football.

Ferguson was convinced Moyes was the man to ensure a smooth transfer of power and keep United at the top.

But a year to the day after Ferguson won his 13th and final league title with United, his judgment looks seriously flawed with Moyes being given none of the leeway Ferguson himself had enjoyed during his own difficult early years in charge.   Continued...

Manchester United's manager David Moyes (L) walks past Ryan Giggs during a training session at the club's Carrington training complex in Manchester, northern England March 18, 2014. REUTERS/Phil Noble/Files