Should Manchester United Have Moved for Roberto Martinez Rather Than David Moyes

Rob Dawson@@RobDawsonMENManchester United CorrespondentOctober 1, 2013

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MARCH 09:  Wigan manager Roberto Martinez gestures as Everton manager David Moyes looks on during the FA Cup Sixth Round match between Everton and Wigan Athletic at Goodison Park on March 9, 2013 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

It's easy to look at the Premier League table and conclude that Manchester United made a mistake in appointing David Moyes this summer.

A team which won the title by 11 points last season is now languishing in 12th, eight points behind leaders Arsenal and trailing Southampton, Hull and Cardiff.

You don't have to look far to find a stick to beat the new manager with.

He's never won a trophy. He's never won at Anfield.

In 11 years at Goodison Park, he managed to qualify for the Champions League just once, and even that campaign ended after two games.

Moyes' record, and his disappointing start to life at Old Trafford, make it easy to believe the grass is greener elsewhere.

And the lawn is looking perfectly manicured at Everton these days.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 01: Manager David Moyes of Manchester United watches on during a training session ahead of their Champions League Group A match against Shakhtar Donetsk at their Carrington Training Complex on October 01, 2013 in Manchester,
Paul Thomas/Getty Images

Their new manager, Roberto Martinez, enjoyed a successful transfer window, bringing in Gareth Barry, Romelu Lukaku and James McCarthy, keeping Leighton Baines and selling Marouane Fellaini for an inflated fee.

They're the only unbeaten team in the league having conquered Jose Mourinho's Chelsea and blitzing Newcastle with a first-half barrage on Monday night.

Moyes could be forgiven for looking on enviously at Martinez's first few months.

But things haven't always been so rosy for Goodison's new Spaniard.

There were grumbles from some Everton fans this summer when chairman Bill Kenwright appointed a manager who was relegated with Wigan in May.

And the volume increased after Everton opened the season with three draws, including goalless encounters with Cardiff and West Brom.

MADRID, SPAIN - AUGUST 18:  head coach Carlo Ancelotti of Real Madrid CF during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and Real Betis Balompie at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on August 18, 2013 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Image
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

What a difference three games can make.

United's next three games are against Shakhtar Donetsk, Sunderland and Southampton.

Win all three and Moyes will find the black clouds hovering over Old Trafford have moved on. 

To Stamford Bridge perhaps, or the Emirates.

The big clubs are never more than one game away from a crisis. Just ask Carlo Ancelotti or Arsene Wenger.

Moyes has made mistakes this season—he would likely admit to them himself.

But he's got a six-year contract in his pocket and time on his side.

The poor start to the season means there's little room for error.

But Moyes will be encouraged that City, Chelsea and Arsenal have all looked vulnerable at different times this season.

It's too early to rule United out of the title race just as it's too early to brand Moyes a mistake or Martinez and Jose Mourinho as better options.

If the season finished today, with United 12th in the table and Everton fourth and in the Champions League places, then Martinez will have been a success and Moyes a failure.

But a lot can change in 32 games. So much has already changed in six.


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