Why David Moyes failed at Manchester United — Wayne Rooney

David Moyes lasted only 10 months after replacing Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United (Credit: IMAGO/Norbert Schmidt)

Why David Moyes failed at Manchester United — Wayne Rooney

Seye Omidiora 18:24 - 21.02.2024

The Red Devils legend, speaking on the Stick to Football podcast, highlighted why the Scotsman had a troubled time at Old Trafford.

Manchester United’s leading goalscorer, Wayne Rooney, has highlighted why David Moyes struggled in a short spell at Old Trafford. The Scotsman was handpicked by celebrated Red Devils boss Sir Alex Ferguson in 2013, but Moyes did not last the 2013-14 season at the Theatre of Dreams despite signing a six-year contract after leaving Everton.

The move quickly went awry for Ferguson’s replacement, with the now-West Ham boss discarded in April 2014 after 10 months in charge, the third-shortest managerial stint in United’s history. Rooney, the 19-goal man in 2013-14, was at the Red Devils for the disastrous title campaign in which the Manchester giants ended seventh in the Premier League, has shed light on the Scotsman’s time at the club.

What Rooney said about Moyes’ short-lived Manchester United spell

Rooney was speaking on the latest episode of Sky’s Stick to Football podcast, and the retired England forward admitted Moyes was fighting a losing battle at the Theatre of Dreams.

“The players never gave David Moyes a chance at Manchester United,” Rooney said on the podcast. "I think it was always going to be tough for him. I know David from when he was at Everton, and he was never the same person at Manchester United.

"Obviously, it was a massive change for him, so I don’t think he did as well as he would’ve liked, but I also think there was a lack of respect from the senior players towards him, and they weren’t having him which was tough for him.”

David Moyes
David Moyes could not build a dynasty at Manchester United (Credit: Imago/Colorsport)

The ex-Man United forward also pointed to the club’s changing culture as another factor that negatively impacted Moyes at the Theatre of Dreams.

“Then you’ve got the likes of Jesse Lingard, Danny Welbeck and Tom Cleverley coming through, who had good careers, but they weren’t the same as the core group we had,” admitted Rooney. “Football was changing, the behaviour of players and everything around football was changing, and that was a big time.

“I remember after the Liverpool game when we got beat at Old Trafford in 2014 under David Moyes, the players were dancing around the changing room the next day at the training ground, playing hip hop music. I tried taking the speaker out of the room, and you can try to control as much as possible, but you can’t really.”

What have Manchester United been up to since sacking Moyes?

While Ryan Giggs was placed in temporary charge at Old Trafford after Moyes' sacking, Manchester United have had no less than four permanent managers in the last decade, with Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Erik ten Hag — the incumbent — all trying their hands to fill Sir Alex Ferguson's shoes.

Van Gaal won the FA Cup, Mourinho secured the Europa League and EFL Cup titles in his debut season, and Ten Hag ended the club’s six-year trophy drought with last season’s League Cup success.

The Dutchman is still in charge of a Manchester United side keen to end in this season’s Champions League places, in which they sit sixth in the table on 44 points, five shy of Aston Villa in fourth. Ten Hag’s men host Fulham at Old Trafford in their next Premier League game on February 24.