Featured banner follows ‘The Chosen One’ out of Old Trafford
Stretford End flags group deem old pro-Moyes tribute surplus to requirements
‘The Chosen One’ banner supporting David Moyes used to feature prominently at Old Traffordin. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA
The David Moyes era at Manchester United ended on Tuesday and now the “The Chosen One” banner has been removed from Old Trafford.
Placed at the Stretford End at the start of the season as a show of support for the man who replaced Alex Ferguson, the banner was mimicked last month when a group of supporters arranged for a flypast with the message “Wrong One – Moyes Out” during the victory against Aston Villa.
It has been removed before tomorrow’s match against Norwich, when Ryan Giggs will take charge of his first match since being named as the interim manager. The Stretford End Flags group, who paid for the banner and are planning a new mural in tribute to Bobby Charlton, are still undecided what to do with it.
“It’s something we’re going to think about carefully. We may offer it to the National Football Museum or auction it off for charity,” said the co-founder Andrew Kilduff.
“It got a lot of coverage but there are no regrets about it. Old Trafford is filled with symbolism so there is no hiding place for a manager.”
A spokesman for the National Football Museum appeared to rule out any possibility of exhibiting the banner.
A bid of €187,000 for a spoof listing of the 20ft banner was also registered on eBay, although the genuine “David Moyes is a football genius” banner displayed by Liverpool fans at Old Trafford last month went for €607 (£500).
Moyes has been advised to take some time out of football while he recovers from the disappointment of being sacked after only 51 games in charge.
“I wouldn’t advise him to come back into the game sooner,” said West Ham United boss Sam Allardyce. “I would come back later if I were him. He has done 15 years continuously. To take some time with the family and reflect and enjoy life a little bit more without the pressures of particularly Premier League football will do him the world of good. When he emerges again, he will come back a better manager than he already has been, and he has been one hell of a manager.”
Norwich manager Neil Adams, who took over at Carrow Road two weeks ago following Chris Hughton’s sacking, is unsure whether Moyes’s departure, and the subsequent appointment of Giggs will be a help or hindrance tomorrow.
With Norwich’s Premier League status not yet secured, Adams says his players must focus on their own jobs and not be affected by what has happened at Old Trafford.
“Obviously, I’m very sorry for David. It’s never nice when managers lose their jobs,” Adams said. “I’m not too fussed over what time it’s come. We’ve just got to deal with it.
“You’re naturally going to see a reaction. The crowd will be up for it. Ryan Giggs is a huge fans’ favourite at Man United . . . , he’s won everything there is to win at domestic level, and he’s one of the best players the club has had. It’s something we’ve prepared for and have to be ready for.”