David Moyes on FA charge as Rooney sunbathes in Egypt
Manchester United manager’s problems continue to mount
Manchester United manager David Moyes. Phogo: Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters
David Moyes’s traumatic week continued after the Manchester United manager was charged by the English Football Association for misconduct yesterday, having been forced to deny his new-look coaching staff are the prime reason for the champions’ dismal run of form.
Following revelations that several players have begun questioning his credentials, Moyes was charged after criticising the officials’ “terrible” decisions that led to both goals against United in Tuesday’s 2-1 League Cup semi-final first leg defeat at Sunderland.
Moyes was unhappy with the free-kick awarded by the referee Andre Marriner that led to Ryan Giggs’s own-goal, and the second-half penalty. The manager said: “We’re having to play them as well as the opposition at the moment. It’s really terrible, it really is. We’re actually beginning to laugh at them, that’s the thing.”
Moyes has until 6pm on January 15th to decide whether to accept the charge. He is likely to face a fine if found guilty. It comes as yet another blow to the manager, who has presided over three consecutive defeats inside a week – the first time United have suffered such a run in 13 years. Yet Moyes denied that his clear-out of Alex Ferguson’s coaching team was to blame.
Moyes replaced Rene Meulensteen, Mike Phelan and Eric Steele with Steve Round, Phil Neville, Jimmy Lumsden and Chris Woods. Despite winning last season’s title by 11 points, United trail the leaders, Arsenal, by the same margin, and were also knocked out of the FA Cup by Swansea City last weekend.
Yet asked if players had been made uncertain by changes to the backroom, Moyes said: “I don’t think that’s got anything to do with it at all.”
Eric Harrison, who developed David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and the Neville brothers, also claimed Moyes made an error in doing so.
Moyes said: “I asked Rene to stay at the club and gave him the opportunity so it wasn’t as if I came in here and said let’s get rid of everybody. I’ve kept all the other backroom staff.”
With a summer clear-out expected Moyes agreed that players have only so many chances to prove themselves. “That’s what happens, no matter what club you are at. You get opportunities and you have to take them when they come around,” he said.
Despite qualification for the Champions League being in doubt, Moyes reiterated that the hopes of strengthening during the transfer window remain low. “If there’s anything out there I’ll try and bring them in but it’s difficult,” he said.
Wayne Rooney has not played since the 2-1 defeat to Spurs at Old Trafford on New Year’s Day and Moyes said the England striker has been sent for some “warm weather recuperation” in Egypt in an effort to be fit for the match against Chelsea on January 19th.
“He has a bit of a groin-adductor problem which we just think might need a little bit more time,” Moyes said.
“Wayne has been sent away on a sort of hot weather break. His groin has not quite recovered yet. We have sent a fitness coach with him and he is away with his family. Hopefully we’ll get him fit for Chelsea and we will see how he is.
“It looks as if we could bring him in but then he may have to drop out again, so we just want to nip it in the bud and see if we can get on top of it,” he said.
The manager was unable to give a time when Robin van Persie might return from his thigh injury. “We are trying to get him back, but it’s a thigh strain similar to the one he had at Arsenal, so we are having to manage it correctly.”