David Moyes And Mark Hughes Comments After Defeat By Tottenham


Rooney [Photo: Alan Hill]David Moyes and Mark Hughes have been vocal with their comments in the media, following their clubs’, Manchester United and Stoke City, recent defeats by Tottenham. They are clearly following in the footsteps of Sir Alex Ferguson.

Following in Fergie’s Footsteps

One of the funniest bits of commentary I have heard recently was in the 86th minute of BT’s coverage of the United game,

"“Can David Moyes pull one off here on New Year’s Day?”"

Now I know that would distract him from the pressure but I think that’s taking things a step too far. Oh, I see. Apparently they were talking about comebacks.

David Moyes [Photo: Alan Hill]Meanwhile, Moyes has lambasted the referee’s performance as scandalous; one of the worst he has ever seen and suggested that the authorities take action. Yet the opinions of unbiased commentators in the BT live coverage do not coincide with his. They said,

Januzaj seemed to be going down before the challenge came in from Danny Rose. That’s another big decision Howard Webb might well have got spot on Michael. Januzaj has had a problem with that hasn’t he, since breaking into the United team.

Those spontaneous reactions show that Moyes view is not obviously correct and that the referee may well have been getting the decisions right. Just the fact that it is arguable means that Moyes is not in the least bit justified in going off on one like he did.

Januzaj is No 2 in the list of Premier League’s all-time divers after just 14 games and Manchester United have been caught at it twice as often as any other club this season.

I read an alleged quote from Ashley Young recently where he said he wasn’t going to stop and it was up to referees to decide what was a dive. Fine but then don’t have the manager get on the ref’s back when he does exactly that. We suffered big time last season, with Bale being regularly booked for simulation and no-one willing to give us a penalty until he had gone. Moyes should get over it.

It’s a real shame that Moyes was unable to maintain a sense of perspective in his interview after the game. He appears to have finished reading Sir Alex Ferguson’s autobiography but in having a rant about the referee has chosen the wrong parts to follow and does not appear to have learnt from Ferguson’s mistakes.

The part he has clearly taken on board is,

“I always protected my players. It was my job. For that reason I can’t apologise for the times I stuck up for them when there were sound reasons to lurch the other way. There were times when I thought “Christ, what were you thinking about?” But I couldn’t take sides against my players. I had to find solutions other than castigating them in public”.

The bit he should have paid more attention to is,

“Refereeing is perhaps the one area of the game where I should have walked away without expressing an opinion. The following week I might have been the beneficiary of a decision in our favour, so to go overboard after one bad decision could be interpreted as selective outrage”

So we are not fooled by Moyes rant about Howard Webb.

The FA shouldn’t be fooled either. They already have set the standard for punishment. They fined Ferguson £30,000 and banned him for 5 games for comments about ref Martin Atkinson after a 2-1 defeat to Chelsea.

Talking of selective outrage, before shouting his mouth of Moyes should be aware of United’s history and all they have got away with against Spurs down the years, including our disallowed goal that was a yard over the line that cost us a European place, and the penalty given against Gomes that wasn’t.

Pedro Mendes ‘goal’ at OT. [Photo: Alan Hill]Ferguson also said about Wayne Rooney,

"His instinct was to revert to type. He made some daft tackles in games and there were flashpoints on the pitch."

Moyes has presided over the following behaviour this season and even seems to encourage it as he has escaped red cards thanks to the generosity of referees.

Fellaini ‘tackle’ [Photo: Alan Hill]

Rooney on Tom Huddlestone [Photo: Alan Hill]

Rooney hack [Photo: Alan Hill]So that’s regular diving from Young and Januzaj, studs ups from Rooney – Oh yes and Van Persie has thrown a few elbows – and then he has the cheek to criticise a ref for making a few decisions against United.

Such a rant should be beneath the dignity of the manager of one of the world’s biggest clubs. They are losing games in this transitional period. Reacting in public like this will only make it worse. Ferguson was already a long term success and secure at United by the time he made some of his transgressions. Moyes is in a different situation. He should be careful.

If I was him I would be more concerned about the fact that he was relying on the promising young Januzaj for so much and that for all his skill going forward, he was conspicuously absent, failing to track back as Lennon repeatedly roasted Evra down the right wing.


Friday 3 January: He has made it worse in an interview today by saying that a shoulder injury Young has got is due to Lloris’ challenge. Lloris didn’t touch him. If he has injured his shoulder it’s due to the landing from the dramatic dive he took off on before Lloris reached him.

Now Mark Hughes

Now Mark Hughes has complained about the fact that Sandro has texted that he is waiting for Charlie Adam. I assume he means he is waiting for him to apologise for the tackle that put Bale out of the game for months, or when he tried to do it again on the pre-season tour in the States, or his fouls on Vertonghen, or Parker.

Adam on Paulinho [Photo: Alan Hill]Or just the studs up tackle that has now mangled Paulinho’s ankle ligaments? Hughes has also said that the referee was only 10 yards away. So what? How close the ref was makes no difference to how reckless and violent the tackle was. Hughes said he is disappointed that the ref did not see it. It’s almost as if he is suggesting that the ref did see it really, which is disingenuous because a quick look at a picture of the moment of impact clearly shows the ref’s head was turned the other way at the time of his crunching contact. No doubt the ref had turned in the direction the ball was flying after Paulinho had kicked it before Adams nearly broke his ankle.

Still, since the ref didn’t see it, the FA still had the option to ban him but opted not to so is that why Hughes has spoken out now?