David Moyes' depth of disappointment shown by lack of thanks to Manchester United players

The sacked manager made a statement yesterday in which he thanked the staff and fans - but not the players

Eloquence finally came to David Moyes in a farewell note perfectly pitched. The dignity and respect missing from Manchester United's clandestine ousting of Moyes was set out in a statement issued by the League Managers' Association on his behalf.

There was a rebuke for the board, and those members of it including Sir Alex Ferguson, Sir Bobby Charlton and David Gill, who met on Sunday night to discuss an outcome that had become inevitable, but he left that to the LMA chief executive, Richard Bevan.

Moyes thanked the staff at Old Trafford for the warmth he received, the fans for their support and even Ferguson for the opportunity he gave him. He acknowledged the failings of his reign and recognised that United deserved more than he was able to deliver.

There was also the unmistakable message that his removal is not an end but another step along the road to professional fulfilment as a coach. He will be back, and better for the experience.

"To have been appointed as manager of Manchester United, one of the biggest football clubs in the world, was and remains something of which I will always be incredibly proud," he said. "Taking charge after such a long period of continuous stability and success at the club was inevitably going to be a significant challenge, but it was one which I relished and never had a second thought about taking on.

"The scale of the manager's job at United is immense, but I have never stepped away from hard work and the same applies to my coaching staff. I thank them for their dedication and loyalty throughout the last season."

For a deeper understanding of the text it is necessary to read between the lines. There was no gratitude offered to the players, which speaks of a weary acceptance that, as Roy Keane suggested, effort invested was not necessarily reciprocal.

It was also clear that he felt the depth and quality of the squad bequeathed was not what it might have been. "We were fully focused and committed to the process of the fundamental rebuilding that is required for the senior squad. This had to be achieved whilst delivering positive results in the Barclays Premier League and the Champions League.

"However, during this period of transition, performances and results have not been what Manchester United and its fans are used to or expect, and I both understand and share their frustration."

Moyes was bruised by the manner of his going, of that there can be no doubt, but the 10-month immersion in all things United has strengthened his conviction that he has what it takes to manage again at the highest level.

In a paragraph that might have been addressed to Tottenham or any other Premier League team with big ambitions, Moyes said: "I have always believed that a manager never stops learning during his career and I know I will take invaluable experience from my time as United's manager.

"I remain proud to have led the team to the quarter-finals of this year's Champions League and I remain grateful to Sir Alex Ferguson for believing in my ability and giving me the chance to manage Manchester United."

What he said... and what he might have said

What he said Taking charge after such a long period of continuous stability and success at the club was inevitably going to be a significant challenge

What he might have said They were big shoes to fill and I was a dead man walking from day one

What he said The scale of the manager's job at United is immense

What he might have said I had no idea how immense

What he said We were fully committed to the process of the fundamental rebuilding that is required for the senior squad...

What he might have said Cheers, Sir Alex: that squad is awful...

What he said This had to be achieved while delivering positive results in the Premier League and the Champions League

What he might have said I'm not a miracle worker

What he said I would like to thank the United staff for making me feel so welcome and part of the United family from my first day. And of course thank you to those fans who have supported me throughout the season

What he might have said And to those fans who didn't... Plus, notice, I've not thanked the players

What he said A manager never stops learning during his career and I will take invaluable experience from my time as United's manager

What he might have said Gis a job

As imagined by Gordon Tynan

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