David Moyes became the subject of more than the odd snigger Thursday after he was nominated for the Premier League Manager of the Month award.
Moyes has suffered a disastrous start to 2014, losing three straight games as Manchester United’s domestic ambitions took a hit in all three competitions.
However, his work in December sees his name placed alongside Jose Mourinho and Manuel Pellegrini as a potential winner of the award.
Sky Sports reports:
Manchester United manager David Moyes is amongst the nominees for Premier League manager of the month for December. http://t.co/Zqf9lNbPtm— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) January 9, 2014
In fairness to the United boss, he picked up four league victories during the hectic Christmas period, lifting the champions back to within a handful of points of the Champions League spots.
Heading into their opening game of January against Tottenham, which they lost, United had dragged themselves to a position in which they were able to close within two points of fourth place, but since then, things have gone horribly wrong.
Defeats to Tottenham, Swansea and Sunderland saw United lose three straight matches for the first time in 13 years, and United host Swansea again this weekend.
OptaJoe highlights the kind of pressure United have been under throughout the season:
808 - Manchester United have made more clearances than any other Premier League team this season. (808) State.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 9, 2014
Mass player unrest—aimed at Moyes specifically—is reported by Jamie Jackson of The Guardian, during a season in which United are struggling just to book Champions League football for next term.
Who deserves the December Manager of the Month award?
For Moyes to receive the Manager of the Month at this stage, deserved or not for his December exploits, would make him something of a laughing stock.
Fortunately for the Scot, Mourinho and Pellegrini are more likely winners, having seen their sides produce better results than United during the festive period.
Where United’s wins came against relegation-strugglers Aston Villa, West Ham, Hull and Norwich, Chelsea saw off the likes of Liverpool and Southampton—as well as drawing at Arsenal—while City won six games in December, including a triumph over Liverpool.