Some have said the English media has been unduly protective of Manchester United manager David Moyes due to the fact that he’s British; That a Portuguese or German manager would’ve already been roasted several times over for the year United’s had at Old Trafford.
That argument is getting soundly beaten today following the Red Devils’ 3-0 skunking at home by Liverpool on Sunday. His former academy coach at Everton is getting his name in print while criticizing Moyes’ skills as a teacher. Writers doting over Brendan Rodgers are using “He’s the anti-Moyes” as fodder.
And former Man City and Leeds player turned pundit Danny Mills is claiming Manchester United will not win a title for a decade or more.
Apparently you can lose your title grit in less than a year, but it takes a decade to replace it. It would seem Chelsea, PSG, Manchester City and others have shown this isn’t necessarily the case, but not today in English media. Anyway, I digress.
Perhaps this is going on in Milan as well, as San Siro has seen this season’s Old Trafford failures and raised them… maybe even doubled down. Yet it feels almost like a case of the rabble-rousers having success. Is David Moyes any worse of a manager than he was on Day One? How did Sir Alex Ferguson do it last year? Did the injuries to Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie do most of the damage, or did all the aging Red Devils find the other side of effectiveness between June and now?
Some of Moyes tactics should be in question. Juan Mata on the wing? Yikes. And Roberto Martinez’s success at Everton without Moyes and Marouane Fellaini does seem to be pretty damning. So maybe it’s that simple. Maybe David Moyes isn’t fit for the job of boss at Manchester United.
But why did it take so long for the majority of the press to agree? There were two losses to Liverpool and a beating by Man City in September, back-to-back historical home losses to Everton and Newcastle in December and two points from three PL matches in February. If it was players then, it stands to reason it was players now. If it’s Moyes now… then why so much previous patience?
PRAGUE (AP) Czech champion Viktoria Plzen is close to signing Austrian midfielder Andreas Ivanschitz.
Plzen says Ivanschitz agreed terms for a contract lasting 1 + seasons and will sign it when the team returns from a training camp in Spain. Ivanschitz has already joined the squad at the Oliva Nova resort, the club says.
Ivanschitz helped the Seattle Sounders win their first MLS Cup in December.
[ NEW HOMES: Fonte | Berahino ]
No financial details were given.
The 33-year-old Ivanschitz also played for Rapid Vienna and Red Bull Salzburg in Austria, Mainz in the Bundesliga, Levante in Spain and Panathinaikos in Athens.
Ivanschitz played 69 games for Austria in 2003-14, scoring 12 goals.
Joel Matip is going to get to play for Liverpool during AFCON after all.
The center back had turned down the chance to represent Cameroon at the Africa Cup of Nations, and Liverpool was forced to apply to FIFA for a waiver.
[ PL PREVIEW: Swansea vs. Liverpool ]
Matip suffered an ankle injury in December, adding to his desire to stay at Anfield. He declared himself internationally retired and was one of six Cameroon players who refused call-ups for AFCON.
He last played for the Reds on Dec. 11, and can be selected by Jurgen Klopp against Swansea City on Saturday.
MANCHESTER, England (AP) Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney says he raised 1.2 million pounds ($1.5 million) from a friendly game against former club Everton last year.
That represents the profits, after operational costs, from August’s sellout match at Old Trafford and goes toward the Wayne Rooney Foundation’s target of raising 5 million pounds for children’s charities.
[ NEW HOMES: Fonte | Berahino ]
Rooney said: “I’d like to thank all the fans who came to the testimonial and made it such a special night. They’ve raised a huge amount of money for children who are disadvantaged and it will make a real difference to their lives.”
Rooney is one goal from breaking Manchester United’s scoring record, with the striker currently tied with Bobby Charlton on 249 goals.
Rooney joined United from Everton in 2004.
Robert Lewandowski picked up where he left off.
The Polish striker scored twice for Bayern Munich, once in stoppage time, as the Bavarians improved their Bundesliga lead to six points after toppling Freiburg 2-1 on Friday.
[ MORE: Bundesliga second half preview ]
And what a winner it was, Lewandowski taking a Douglas Costa cross with two juggling touches before hitting an offspeed bouncer inside the post.
It was the league’s first match following the winter/holiday break, giving Bayern a cushion before RB Leipzig takes the pitch against Eintracht Frankfurt in a Top Five tilt on Saturday.
Lewandowski moves closer to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on the goal scoring chart. His 13th and 14th goals have him two back of Borussia Dortmund’s striker, as Lewandowski pursues a third Golden Boot in four seasons.
Full Weekend Schedule
Freiburg 1-2 Bayern Munich — Friday
Augsburg vs. Hoffenheim — Saturday
Schalke vs. Ingolstadt — Saturday
Darmstadt vs. Borussia Monchengladbach — Saturday
Werder Bremen vs. Borussia Dortmund — Saturday
Wolfsburg vs. Hamburger SV — Saturday
RB Leipzig vs. Eintracht Frankfurt — Saturday
Bayer Leverkusen vs. Hertha Berlin — Sunday
Mainz vs. Koln — Sunday