David Moyes Is Proof That Premier League Managers Are One Result from Crisis

Ian Rodgers@irodgers66World Football Staff WriterSeptember 26, 2013

Last week it was Jose Mourinho, then it was David Moyes. After the opening game of the season, it was Arsene Wenger. A week later, it was Manuel Pellegrini.

Not one of the big four bosses in the top flight have emerged from this season so far without some form of scarring courtesy of the pressures of management.

Paolo Di Canio became the first top-flight casualty when he lost his job at Sunderland on Sunday in the wake of the 3-0 defeat at West Bromwich Albion 24 hours earlier.

The real question at the Stadium of Light remains who pulled the short straw during the board selection of who would inform the volatile Italian.

And now, according to John Cross of the Daily Mirror, Norwich City manager Chris Hughton is facing the sack if his team lose to Stoke City at the weekend.

Yes folks, these are the days of rolling news and immediate knee-jerk reactions to a loss or two in the Premier League.

Wenger's disappointing record of eight years without a trophy at Arsenal resurfaced during and after the 3-1 home defeat to Aston Villa on the opening day of the campaign. And supporters demanded the Frenchman spend cash during the transfer window.

Cue the arrival of Mesut Ozil on the last day of the window, and what do you know? The Gunners are now top of the table, off to a flier in the Champions League and everything is rosy at the Emirates.

Pellegrini also found himself at the centre of attention following Manchester City's defeat at Cardiff City on Aug. 25 and a subsequent 0-0 draw at Stoke City prompted further questions about the Chilean.

Eight days later and after a Champions League opening win and a thumping Manchester derby victory over United, all is glowing at the Etihad Stadium.

Wenger will have become used to the criticism in recent seasons and will be enjoying a break from the dark clouds of pressure, while Pellegrini seems to be the kind of guy immune to any form of mood swing.

Mourinho, of course, has managed at the very highest level, but this appears to be a very different Chelsea manager compared to the one who won the Premier League in his opening two seasons in charge at Stamford Bridge.

Questions over the role of Juan Mata surfaced after the Blues stuttered to a poor 2-1 home Champions League defeat to FC Basle.

Mourinho appeared to be returning to his spiky best as he was interviewed in the wake of Saturday's win over Fulham, which sent his team to the top of the table.

Imagine that, being top of the table and Jamie Redknapp is questioning your team selection on television?

Just 24 hours later though, the media pressure watch was squarely on Moyes.

Moyes has been in and out of the spotlight ever since his name was first floated as a potential successor to Sir Alex Ferguson in May.

Once the deal was done, the heat became something else with the world and his wife intent on offering an opinion.

The Wayne Rooney affair, the disappointing transfer window and just the simple fact he was replacing Ferguson have all colluded to make the former Everton boss a viable target.

We all knew what was coming as soon as Sergio Aguero opened the scoring for City in the 16th minute of the derby.

There is no doubting that a 4-1 defeat to your local rivals is an embarrassment for any club and its supporters, but even Ferguson suffered such moments of indignation at the hands of the "noisy neighbours," as any City fan will remind you.

Moyes will not receive the three years Ferguson had to win silverware, but the former United boss was, arguably, starting from scratch in his bid to turn around the Old Trafford club from 1986 onwards.

Indeed, there is a case that Moyes is not too far away from that position himself. The defensive axis of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic looked considerably disjointed on Sunday, and Moyes must now fashion the next rearguard.

In Ferguson's last season in charge, United did not look the kind of team to rip apart the opposition. Only Robin van Persie looked like a consistent threat, until, of course, his form became, er, inconsistent between February and April.

Missing out on a number of targets such as Cesc Fabregas and Ander Herrera during the summer damaged Moyes' hopes of making an immediate impact.

With United chief executive Ed Woodward also learning the ropes, there was always the chance that the first transfer window for both men would be a testing affair.

The fallout from this summer is still bubbling away for Moyes, with the club's late offer for Gareth Bale surfacing in the press on Wednesday, as Pat Sheehan of The Sun (subscription required) revealed.

And the loss of Ferguson to retirement would lessen the ability of any successor to bring in the highest-quality players.

The 1-0 win over Liverpool in the Capital One Cup has eased the pressure on Moyes, but only until the visit of West Brom on Saturday.

Premier League managers are always just a handful of games from crisis, but for Moyes currently, every result opens up a realm of possibilities.

United should remain patient as the Scot attempts to forge his own way at Old Trafford. But that piece of advice could just as easily be delivered to Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City, Norwich....


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