Everton captain Phil Jagielka has suggested after helping inflict a humiliating defeat on David Moyes that the new Manchester United manager was let down in the transfer market by the Old Trafford board this summer.
“The people who were making those decisions [about] the transfers in the summer didn’t help him [Moyes] out one bit,” Jagielka said. His analysis of his former manager’s predicament will be fundamentally rejected by United, where Moyes drove the decisions that resulted in the club not signing Barcelona’s Thiago Alcantara, who went to Bayern Munich, and instead pursued Athletic Bilbao’s Ander Herrera, for whom a price could not be agreed.
The prospect of breaking the negotiating deadlock over Herrera seems improbable next month, despite the need for midfield reinforcements being self-evident at Old Trafford. Bilbao will still ask United to pay a club record £30.5m for a player who many professionals inside Spanish football feel is not in the bracket of the world’s top players – and not as effective as Alcantara.
Moyes’ wretched evening on Wednesday was compounded when he meet some Everton fans after he left Old Trafford. Alleged details of that encounter, which does not appear to have been harmonious, were yesterday posted on Twitter by one of the supporters. The abuse “is how fickle football is,” Jagielka reflected.
The defender hinted at the different personalities of his present and previous managers, as he declared Moyes would come through his difficult early months in his new job despite a defeat that delivered his successor Roberto Martinez the win at Old Trafford that had eluded Everton for 21 years.
Unlike the more defensive outlook of Everton teams at Old Trafford under Moyes, they attacked to the last, scoring in the 86th minute.
“That is the manager’s character,” Jagielka said. “Look at the way his other teams have been set up. Look at his coaching staff. He is ultra-positive, whether that is the formations we play or the belief he has.
“If he does want to go defensive he can go that way. If he believes that is the way forward he will do it. But to have the self-confidence in his own managerial ability... it rubs off massively on his players. He is ultra-confident in the people he picks, with the subs he makes, with the tactics throughout the game.
“It always helps when players are playing with confidence,” he added. “It is easier to tell someone to do something when he is happy and he is scoring goals or keeping clean sheets.
“The test for us – hopefully we don’t have a particularly bad period but if we do, it will be how we deal with it. We are flying high with confidence and that makes the games that little bit easier.”
Of Moyes he said: “He just needs to add a few more players that he wants week in, week out. Once he gets that sorted and he gets more of his team rather than a team he has been given, that is the acid test for him, once he gets the players in that he wants.
“You can’t grow into the season at Manchester United. You need to come out firing on all cylinders. He just needs that little bit more time. But sometimes, time seems a hard thing to get when you are at that top level.”