David Moyes describes Manchester United role as 'the impossible job' - but claims he could have turned things around given time

Louis van Gaal might agree following yesterday's opening day defeat

David Moyes does not believe he was given the time needed to succeed at Manchester United, calling his tenure an attempt at an "impossible job".

The Scot was sacked in April, not even getting the chance to see out a full season in charge as Sir Alex Ferguson's replacement as United made a shocking defence of their Premier League title.

It left United officials - Ferguson included - red-faced after Moyes had been installed as 'the chosen one', with the former Everton boss becoming 'the sacked one' before the season was out, at a club famed for giving managers time.

Moyes was accused of bungling in the transfer market but claims he tried to sign Cesc Fabregas, Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale, although ultimately he did not and was judged on his results.

Read more: United hand shock debut to Blackett - who is he?
Young catches bird droppings in mouth while shouting at defence
Rooney has attributes to be a great leader, says Neville

Louis van Gaal has since moved into the dugout at Old Trafford and Moyes is now ready to return to management, but insists he was not given the time needed to get to grips with one of world football's most high-profile jobs.

Speaking to the Mail on Sunday he said: "It was a step into the unknown and, looking back now, it was near enough the impossible job."

"But it was the right job for me. I'd been at Everton for more than 11 years. We'd qualified for the Champions League, got to an FA Cup final, I'd been voted manager of the season three times. I was among the most experienced managers in the Premier League. United had always had British managers.

"I was devastated to lose the job because it was something I felt I could make a real success of. We knew it was going to take time to make the necessary changes. It was going to take time to evolve. But we were in the process of making other important changes. In the end, I don't feel I was given time to succeed or fail."

Louis van Gaal's first half as a Premier League boss did not go to plan Louis van Gaal's first half as a Premier League boss did not go to plan  

The failure to significantly improve the squad Ferguson left him also hindered Moyes who, along with chief executive Ed Woodward - also new to the role - missed out on a number of targets.

"It's been well documented that we wanted Fabregas, Bale and Ronaldo. There was talk of Ronaldo when I first arrived. We were close to getting a couple of major names," he said.

"I'm not getting in a blame game here but things just didn't materialise. I had taken over from the most successful manager in history. The chief executive had taken over from one of the most renowned administrators in the game [David Gill]. So it was a new job for two people."

Moyes was shown the door on April 22, but the story of his demise had become public knowledge the day before.

 

The former Celtic defender, knowing his time was up, admits he arrived at United's training ground even earlier than usual at 4am in readiness for his sacking.

"In the end it was difficult for my family, the way we discovered - via the media - that I'd lost my job," he said. "We have always tried to do things the correct way. I know it comes with the territory, and I know if you lose matches you risk being sacked. But how it affected my family made it hard. "

Much was made of the manner of Moyes' departure and that no reference was made to his players - with whom he was reported to have had difficulties with - in his leaving statement.

"On the day I lost my job I spoke to every player at the training ground," he said. "I called the players into the dressing room at 10am that morning and told them how disappointed I was."

The presence of Ferguson looming in the stands was given plenty of headlines as Moyes toiled on the touchline, with the club's most successful ever boss often seen glum-faced as his predecessor laboured.

Moyes, though, insists he always had his compatriot's backing.

"I've met Alex on several occasions since I left," he added. "And I spoke to him about the days surrounding my departure. He explained it to me and I totally accepted what he said. He was in a difficult position, and I understood that.

"At no time did I ever have anything other than 100 per cent support from him. He was always incredibly good to me. We had several meetings over the course of my time at the club. We spoke regularly. And I saw him being around me only as a positive."

PA

Suggested Topics
Sport
Seth Rollins cashes in his Money in the Bank contract to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
WWERollins win the WWE World Heavyweight title in one of the greatest WrestleMania's ever seen
Arts and Entertainment
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
tvBy Reason of Insanity, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark, TV review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor