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Bobby McMahon

Bobby McMahon

You can see me on Soccer Central most Mondays and Thursdays on Rogers Sportsnet in Canada. I write a regular column for and and frequently guest on various podcasts and radio shows.


While A Door Opens For Liverpool Is The Same One Closing On Manchester United?

Written by on March 16, 2014 | 28 Comments »
Posted in Liverpool, Manchester United

David Moyes talks about looking to United’s tradition of attacking football but it is as convincing as Vladimir Putin espousing the need for greater democracy. 

To read more please click on the link.


28 responses to “While A Door Opens For Liverpool Is The Same One Closing On Manchester United?”

  1. Rob says:

    Bobby-I’ve heard chatter that people are saying Gerrard should’ve been sent off with the clash with Fellaini where the big Belgian was left bleeding from his head.

    I didn’t see the elbow connect, I thought it was Gerrard’s shoulder. I’m just curious as to what you saw especially after reading number 11 in your article here.

    Also, regarding Sturridge’s dive: do you see any time in the near future where they will take retrospective action on that? Its something that could ruin a big game and needs to be cut out.

  2. I think with the sight of blood a lot of folks think red card. Thought yellow was a right call.
    There are leagues that take retrospective action already.

  3. Seattle Loon says:

    I thought Clattenburg did a decent job in a tough fixture. Both sets of fans could air grievances. Sturridge’s flop was the sort of thing that should be subject to retrospective action. Rafael’s deliberate hand ball could easily have led to Utd playing with ten men for 55 minutes. Liverpool should have had a 4th penalty when Carrick fouled Sturridge in the box late in the game.

    The issue of the penalties brings up the toughest challenge for Moyes or whoever come after him. Manchester Utd arguably need a whole new back four. Part of the reason Liverpool won without playing brilliantly yesterday was they were gifted 2 penalties first by Rafael and then by Jones. Evra looks slightly past it, Rafael is a liability too often and the less said about the central defence the better.

    Thanks to the purchase of Mata and Fellaini for $100 million you arguably have now allocated a huge chunk of money to have four players – Rooney,Kagawa, Mata and Fellaini who are most effective just behind the main striker. Yes,Fellaini isn’t a natural # 10 but this is where he scored a lot of goals for Everton.

    All leading me to my final point – Moyes has undoubtly dragged Man Utd backwards. He seems caught between his natural tendency to be conservative and the demands of a more aggressive style demanded by Man Utd’s traditions and his predecessor. The sight of the EPL’s most consistent attacking player last season Juan Mata being played out of position yet again we emblematic of this. Acceding to Rooney’s demands seem to have further limited his options.

    Moyes may be given more time and another $100 million to spend. But who based on what they have seen so far could be confident it would be spent wisely or there would even be an appropriate system for the players to play in?

  4. very good summation

  5. everwonthetreble says:

    Who should come in?

  6. Seattle_Loon says:

    I think Jurgen Klopp who would really excite the fans and players. He must realize that Munich are virtually impregnable in Germany.

    Outside of that I really don’t have a clue.

    Shame for Man Utd is that they missed out on Mourinho when they had the chance. It’s slightly laughable how some considered him potentially too controversial for Old Trafford considering some of SAF’s statements and spats over the years. Guardiola would have been a prime choice too.

    I don’t know if some would think him too inexperienced but I think Pochettino of Southampton is a manager who could go onto great things somewhere. Lack of European experience for sure. Maybe he will appeal to Daniel Levy at Spurs.

  7. “Maybe he will appeal to Daniel Levy at Spurs” – that is a bit like getting a wink from Dracula.

  8. Seattle Loon says:

    Lol Bobby. I have always thought if Levy raised a pinkie to his lips he’d be a passable Dr. Evil from Austin Powers.

    Tim Sherwood is currently doing a fair impression of the Robert De Niro character from ‘Anger Management’. Mind you didn’t he sign an 18 month contract? He’ll be skipping to the bank come May. If he’s really smart he’ll be asking Harry Redknapp for the name of his accountant.

  9. Smiley says:

    Assuming it’s baby duck syndrome with the likes of RvP, Kagawa, Vidic and a few others who have been imprinted by SAF recruitment and ideas, who would Moyes buy from top players available that would bring that spirit back to Manyoo and fight for Moyes and his soccer ideaology?

    It will be funny to see those so called thrifty Glazers who only care about ROI back Moyes yet again with a 100M transfer kitty huh?

  10. Ed Gomes says:

    Great piece Bobby, and SL couldn’t agree more.
    Moyes is a disaster. You see no improvement from this squad, whether it’s with his tactics or SAF’s. It started off badly and it’s remained. I know that I’m not on the training ground or back room, but listening Moyes does not instill confidence.
    I think we can all agree that Man United need an influx of talent, but pundits that keep stating Man United’s tired legs couldn’t be more wrong. Frankly the names that keep being mentioned were barely used or available by SAF. On a squad that won the league by 11 points.
    Great point on Mata, he’s become Kagawa2. Mata, in my opinion, was a good purchase due to Kawagas failure (his own or teams). But if you can’t use him where he’s most effective, what’s the point.

    This can’t be the guy that’s entrusted with any kitty for talent.

  11. Ed Gomes says:

    Lastly, let me give credit to a club/squad that I disparage. Arsenal showed great grit, they’ve always had talent, in their win verse Spurs. Frankly they should have won by more, even by playing defensive/on the counter.
    We’ll see if they can pull this one out. Yes there’s talent, but there have been better Arsenal squads that have faltered.
    Sherwood is looking more and more like an empty suit. Has really changed anything from AVB, except bringing in Ade? Same high line and meaningless possession. By the way, never been an AVB guy.
    Moyes and Sherwood will be interviewing for the Southampton position. And the fans will groan.

  12. everwonthetreble says:

    Looks like Moyes will go and Manchester United will fall into the trap of various clubs like Spurs and Chelsea for many years to come. Hope the fans are ready, but given how well they adapted to obvious down turn that was likely to happen after Fergie retired, I’m not expecting much. My only hope is that if Moyes goes, then I don’t want to ever see the vast majority of the players who are currently at United who I think have gotten away with hiding behind a new manager for their faults. To blame Moyes for much of the nonsensical displays from the payers this season is beyond ignorant.

    That said, he had his worse display as a manager against Liverpool. He was caught out by the diamond formation, which given Liverpool had recently played that formation against So’ton, that’s very poor indeed. The fullbacks for Liverpool were there for the taking and he didn’t utilize any width from the bench. The substitutions were far far too late. They squad was unbalanced with Mata and Januzaj not able to offer proper protection to Carrick and Fellani despite their central positions. The substitutions when made were all like for like replacements which was stupid. All of that is on him and it was tragic.

    But he didn’t barge into Allen when he was trailing away from goal for a penalty. He didn’t decide to handle the ball after poor positioning against Suarez. Those are the faults of his players alone and they’re just a few examples in a season of many. Again, if he goes…I want them gone as well.

  13. Seattle Loon says:

    Whether it’s Moyes or someone else the immediate priorities should be a new central defender (or two) and a left-back. Are Nani and Antonio Valencia both done at Old Trafford? If so you need another winger.

    After that you still have lots of excellent players left in the squad. The one advantage a new manager might have is not being afraid to bench Wayne Rooney who seems undroppable after his new contract.

    It’s obvious that Man Utd have needed re-inforcements in defence for awhile but I don’t buy the line that their decline was inevitable this season. Winning the EPL last season when seemingly not playing well often is a testament to the strength of the squad. And let’s not forget that until the incorrect sending off of Nani they were close to beating Mourinho’s Real Madrid over two legs in the Champion’s League. Until that red card it was one of the best two-leg performances I can remember from the Red Devils in that competition.

  14. Ed Gomes says:

    For those who thought Moyes was great with the young players;

    I don’t disagree that players need to be held accountable, but Moyes has been horrific in getting anything out of them. It was never going to be an easy transition, since you never want to be the man that replaces the man.
    Don’t know who to bring in, but Man United has the clout to nab a manager from somewhere; Simeone, Klopp, Bielsa, Montella.???

  15. Astronomer says:

    Ed Gomes,
    I agree that Simeone and Klopp would be good choices. However, Bielsa is too temperamental for such a high-pressure job as the one at Man Ure. Also, his knowledge of English is very poor.

    I am not sure about Montella, either.

    Two other names (both French) that might be worth a shout:
    Rudi Garcia and Laurent Blanc.

    Garcia did a good job at Lille and is currently doing a fairly impressive job at Roma. Of course, he might be too defensive-minded for Man Ure fans.

    Blanc might also become available at the end of the season — remember, he was given his current job more as a stop-gap measure than anything else.

  16. Smiley says:

    There’s always the possibility of Giggsy “doing a Pep” and coaching the reserves next season, thereafter taking the reigns of the first team…

  17. everwonthetreble says:

    “Whether it’s Moyes or someone else the immediate priorities should be a new central defender (or two) and a left-back. Are Nani and Antonio Valencia both done at Old Trafford? If so you need another winger.”

    The priority has always and should be central midfield. They can’t do anything going forward without addressing their severe lack of depth, speed, quickness, or defending coming from the central midfield positions. Its pathetic and has been for years.

    Currently we cannot confirm or deny Nani’s whereabouts, but we believe he has gone rogue. Our radar shows some movement from him in the Mr. Rodger’s Neighborhood area of Liverpool. He may have also been on the Malaysian flight which we currently are still receiving reports from. We will keep you updated. Valencia has been getting progressively worse for a few seasons now. Some of that is down to injuries but clearly he’s not gotten any better and his performances have been spotty at best.

    “After that you still have lots of excellent players left in the squad.”

    No they don’t. Real Madrid, Barca, PSG, City, and Bayern have excellent players. Young is usually horrendous. Fellani has been poor and has only been slightly better against really poor opposition lately. Cleverly shouldn’t be playing. Chicarito was marginalized to super sub under Fergie so I’m not sure what his problem is with not playing under Moyes. Its been coming. Rooney hasn’t lived up to anything and if he wanted to leave after the season I genuinely couldn’t care less as to where he decided he wanted to go…just go and bring RVP with him. Anderson shouldn’t ever play again for United and when Zaha is done buying cars and enjoying the perks of being associated with United let me know. Still waiting for Evra to track back with regularity but he has to play because Fergie thought it would be hilarious to buy Buttner. Carrick has had a really bad year as well and he’s not exactly young.

    That leaves Kagawa, Welbeck, Mata, Smalling, Jones, Evans, and Januzaj as United’s “excellent” players this season. I like the central defense but I wouldn’t complain if they bought another (Lovren comes to mind). Januzaj is obviously promising but he’s still very young and quite honestly shouldn’t be starting over Kagawa or Welbeck who are both better players imo.

    The examples you cited were both performances under a manager who had worked with them for years. He’s gone. Of course, there would be a massive drop off. Take Rodger’s away from Liverpool next year. They’ll finish this season what, no worse than 4th this season and probably much higher than that. In the process they’ve managed to compete heavily for the title and they’ve done so without defending brilliantly. So he goes and no one named Pep, Ancelotti, Mourinho, et al, comes in. Based on your logic for United not having a slump, Liverpool should absolutely without question challenge for the title in the same fashion, with the same players, with the same high number of individual defensive mistakes again. It would be a testament to the strength of the squad, right Unfortunately, this scenario isn’t going to play out because I would love to make that bet with you or anyone else.

    Don’t down play what Fergie did with this lot because it was nothing short of miraculous when put into its proper context.

  18. everwonthetreble says:

    By the way…

    Simeone, Klopp, Bielsa, Montella, Rudi Garcia, Blanc.

    I’m literally stunned at the impressive collection of managers put forth here. Beyond original and ideas that clearly have been well researched. I’m wondering, help me out here…is there a way for you lot to send this to the Glazers? They need to know that some fantastic managerial scouting is being done outside whatever ridiculous research team led them to Moyes. Can I just quickly comment on a few?

    re Klopp:
    This choice was outstanding. Lewandowski is leaving and his team is struggling to come to grips with Bayern’s dominance so there is no question he would want to leave. Really good job lads. Add to that his ability to work with Kagawa and he’ll definitely get the best or rid United supporters (finally) of Rooney. He’ll immediately instill a counter attacking style which the United players have been asking Moyes to instill for a while now from what I’m hearing.

    re Simeone:
    It just gets better. A couple of years with Atletico and he’s got them ticking along brilliantly. Should only take him one year in a league he’s completely unfamiliar with but he’ll adapt in no time I’m sure. Either that or he’ll just physically make all the players listen to him. The choice is there’s really but no doubt United will be instantly better.

    re Rudi Garcia:
    This is the gem for me. I’m trying to figure out a way by which we can temporarily have some of you be hired as United’s managerial scouts. Yes, that’s right I want a new position created for you based on this recommendation because its just stunning. Not a massive name but that’s what makes it brilliant. You’re thinking which is important. I like the originality of it and he’ll bring attacking play back to OT while his displays against the very best in Serie A having been nothing short of excellent.

    Bielsa and Montella? I like where your heads are at lads. Keep that originality thing going. The more original the better. The point is that all of them are better than Moyes and will be an instant success. And if it doesn’t work out, I’m sure all of you will be right back to offer another gem

    Hey, while you’re at it, can you find United a number 2? Brilliant.

  19. smiley says:

    Ewtt – “… the ridiculous research team that led them to Moyes” is called Omnipotent SAF and if you don’t know that then you have more pressing concerns than trying to figure out whether Rudi Garcia or Simeone would be good fits at Manyoo buddy.

  20. everwonthetreble says:

    “… the ridiculous research team that led them to Moyes” is called Omnipotent SAF and if you don’t know that then you have more pressing concerns than trying to figure out whether Rudi Garcia or Simeone would be good fits at Manyoo buddy.”

    Damn I hate being shown up. Yeah, good point. I’ve been trying to work out how Moyes was appointed for a while now. How did you know Fergie was the one who chose Moyes? What have you been reading?

    But just to make sure we have an understanding. I think all of you on here are on to something great as to who should manage Manchester United. I just don’t think the Glazers are taking your well researched, practical, intelligent insight on managers to heart which is a real shame. You in particular have offered a plethora of reasons as to why a multitude of managers should take over for Moyes, which I’ve found to be refreshing and based on sound judgement. Sir Alex Ferguson, frankly, is an idiot compared to you lot when it comes to knowing who is a good manager.

  21. Ed Gomes says:

    Oh can we please stop it. People just mentioned a few managers (not a Blanc fan) that are impressing at the moment. Most are being very effective at clubs with limited resources. A lot more effective than Moyes was at Everton, by the way.
    You can put plenty of blame on the players, but what exactly has Moyes done to improve the club. There’s been no improvement from the start of the campaign.
    Just because fans have enjoyed great success and been spoiled, doesn’t mean they need to go through a bad spell of mediocre years.
    By the way, a “flavor of the month” that’s shown great creativity and market improvement is Rodgers. Man United has the clout and money to nab him. Improving themselves and crippling a rival.

    De Gea most likely saved Moyes job until the end of the campaign.

  22. everwonthetreble says:

    I would love nothing more than to stop this conversation but then I see statements like this:

    “a “flavor of the month” that’s shown great creativity and market improvement is Rodgers. Man United has the clout and money to nab him. Improving themselves and crippling a rival.”

    I dunno. I just feel compelled to comment and let you know how much value I place in your opinions of Manchester United. Two clubs that haven’t so much as transferred a player between each other in decades are now going to go after managers? You bet they are. That’s the kind of innovative thinking that I thought Moyes would definitely bring to Manchester United but he couldn’t, could he? He’s not you. And since United can’t get Pep, Mourinho, or Ancelotti, stop wasting your time posting on this site. United needs brilliant football minds in the front office at least to get the club back on track.

  23. Smiley says:

    Instead of trying to take a piss with all of us try following the world game and all its international players and managers as opposed to being a typical “Little Englander” who only follows his precious club and just reads the Manchester Evening News…

  24. Alberta Gooner says:

    Well said, Smiley. Why on earth would any fan want to inform themselves about their club?

    As it happens, I believe Pep and Ancelotti would absolutely look at Manchester United once they tire of the palace intrigues at their current employers and look for a fresh challenge. Speaking selfishly, I hope Pep winds up succeeding Wenger. Speaking of whom, guess who hasn’t signed his extension yet. Maybe Ed Woodward should be talking to Le Prof. too Can I add him to that list? After all, Beetface is actually talking fondly about his old jousting partner these days.

  25. Smiley says:

    AG – If your gonna comment, then at least have the intelligence to figure out what the exact point of debate was, before attempting to be ironic. The guy was totaly ignorant of the fact that Fergie appointed Moyes and believes the Glazers and their “research team” chose SAF’s successor.

    You know a thing or two about delusion right mate?

    I see that you are now using Wenger’s dubious delay to extend in your posts, yet are still ignorant of the reason for the postponement eh? Ya know, If you crawl outta Arsene’s orifice then it will be much brighter for you to be both well informed and less myopic… I promise buddy. 🙂

  26. Alberta Gooner says:


    Well it’s obvious you are much more informed about what’s going on at Colney. Putting in the hours on the Gameboy playing FIFA is really working out for you.

  27. Ed Gomes says:

    I apologize for thinking hated rivals would go after each other’s talent. Barca and Real have never poached from their rivals.
    It was silly of me to think that.

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