David Moyes future: Manchester United manager is safe for now, but views of fans could have influence
The club are not impervious to the views and mood of fans. They will be taken into account
The catastrophic manner of Manchester United's defeat to Manchester City has brought no immediate review of David Moyes' position and the security of his job for now remains unchanged.
A number of Sir Alex Ferguson's retired former players are understood to have reached the view that the club needs to act swiftly to change manager and that United would be wrong to give Moyes the £150m summer investment intended to deliver the club – on course to miss out even on Europa League qualification for next season – back into the Champions League the season after. Paul Scholes' decision to make a first appearance as a Sky Sports pundit on Tuesday – for a game which his former club seemed likely to lose – was made in the full knowledge that he might have to deliver heavy criticism of Moyes' team. He did not hold back.
Scholes' willingness to work with United's Under-19s team in this season's Uefa Youth League, travelling to Real Sociedad and Shakhtar Donetsk as Nicky Butt's assistant, revealed a desire to renew his involvement. But after United's elimination at the group stage that came to an abrupt end.
Read more: Moyes is safe at United.... for now
Former United favourites sticking the boot into Moyes
Even Keane and Neville would fall silent when Scholes spoke
The level of abuse directed at Moyes and his predecessor Ferguson by United fans was substantially greater during the 3-0 defeat to City than in the dismal loss to Liverpool by the same scoreline. The chant of "20 times, 20 times Manchester United" – an allusion to the club's number of domestic titles – was accompanied by ironic cheers on Tuesday, while after the Liverpool loss it was sung in defiance, for fully 20 minutes. The club are by no means impervious to the views and mood of the fans. They will be taken into account this summer, despite the club's official stance that Moyes will be leading the effort to rebuild for next season.
The determination to stick to the course and the manager United have decided upon suggests that the elevation of Ryan Giggs from coach to interim manager, with Ferguson assuming an advisory role, is unlikely. Giggs' appointment would, in turn, be likely to restore Scholes to the hub of the club. For many supporters, the idea of Gary Neville also returning after this summer's World Cup, completing a Class of '92 managerial takeover, would be appealing.
A Manchester United fan is led away by stewards after venting his frustration at David Moyes (EPA)
But handing the future to Giggs, when a second season's absence from the Champions League could consign United to the wilderness, would constitute a huge gamble. The Borussia Dortmund manager, Jürgen Klopp, would not be such a risk. Though sources in Germany suggest he would be unwilling to break his contract, his loss of striker Robert Lewandowski to newly crowned champions Bayern Munich this summer raises profound questions about how much more he can achieve with Dortmund.
Read more: 'Class of 92' linked with takeover
United fans organising 'Moyes Out' flyover
Fellaini claims Zabaletta 'bounced his jaw into my elbow'
United, who are guaranteed their lowest points total in the Premier League era, are now dependent on a collapse in form from Tottenham Hotspur if they are to achieve the sixth-place finish they require to qualify for the Europa League. It is understood that they will undertake this summer's US tour regardless of any Europa League commitments, dividing up the squad between the two in order to meet footballing demands and commercial commitments.
Edin Dzeko celebrates his second goal in City's defeat of United (Getty)
United will train in Los Angeles and play LA Galaxy before moving to Denver, Colorado, for their first game in the International Champions Cup, in July. Though they may have to play a Europa League third qualifiying round, or play-off, United will travel to Washington DC, Detroit and possibly Miami, where the Champions Cup final is to be held.
But to reach the Europa League – which brings the new attraction of automatic Champions League qualification for next season's winners – United must make up a five-point deficit on Tottenham or the six-point advantage established by fifth-placed Everton. Assuming the top four will be Chelsea, City, Liverpool and Arsenal, a fifth place would deliver United straight into the Europa League group stage and sixth would send them into a play-off game. If Arsenal do not win the FA Cup, fifth would mean a Europa League play-off game and sixth would mean an additional third qualifying round game.
Victory at home to Aston Villa on Saturday could help, with Spurs facing a tough trip to Liverpool on Sunday. Defeat to Villa would put United under immense pressure to review the manager's position.
Latest in Sport
England vs Lithuania: Wayne Rooney rules out repeat of boxing celebration after son Kai repeats it at school and focuses on goalscoring record
Marco Reus becomes Arsenal transfer target to replace Theo Walcott
Paul Scholes: It's amazing Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick has so few caps for England
New kits for 2015/16: Have the Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Barcelona strips been leaked?
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: Zab Judah denies flooring Mayweather during sparring as he prepares for 2 May
- 1 Germanwings crash: Police make 'significant discovery' at home of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz
- 3 Zayn Malik already working on solo material, just days after quitting One Direction
- 4 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 5 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash live: Andreas Guenter Lubitz intentionally crashed flight 9525 into the Alps in act of mass murder and suicide – latest