Do Manchester United Fans Love David Moyes?

Rob BlanchetteFeatured ColumnistFebruary 14, 2014

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 09:  Manchester United manager David Moyes signs autographs for the fans before the Rio Ferdinand Testimonial Match between Manchester United and Sevilla at Old Trafford on August 9, 2013 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

The 2014 Feast of Saint Valentine is a tricky affair for Manchester United fans. 

In previous years we have witnessed illuminating displays of togetherness from our players, as United destroyed opponents one after another in the name of glory and love. 

Sir Alex Ferguson always knew how to keep a relationship fresh.

He did not take us to the local greasy spoon cafe for a mug of tea and a full English breakfast on Valentine's Day. He realised that if he dined us out at the finest restaurants, the Nou Camps and the San Siros, the rest of it would take care of itself.

15 May 1991:  Alex Ferguson Manager of Manchester United holds the Trophy after their victory in the European Cup Winners Cup Final against Barcelona at the Feyenoord Stadium in Rotterdam, Holland. Manchester United won the match 2-1. \ Mandatory Credit:S
Simon Bruty/Getty Images

Diamond rings and championship jewelry were aplenty, flowing like a river of devotion only seen in Hollywood movies.

And it went on for decades, when most relationships become stale and lifeless as time gnaws away. 

That never happened with Fergie. He was a football Lothario. His seduction involved last-minute goals and heated drama, and we knew how lucky we were to be in bed with him. A partnership that could not be broken by Real Madrid's money nor a Russian oligarchs whimsical advances. 

But we knew it would come to an end, because everything does. 

Now The Faithful has a new "love." His name is David Moyes and he is the Chosen One, if you believe a flag in the Stretford End.

So far, it is hard to ascertain what kind of relationship United fans really have with Moyes.

There is no doubt that for match-going Reds there is already a bond of loyalty with the manager. His name is sung with gusto at every game even when the players look like they are not quite sure about basic football tactics anymore. 

Jon Super/Associated Press

I was stood inside Old Trafford for Sir Alex's last game, tears in my stupid eyes, listening to the love of our lives say goodbye. His words still ring inside my ears and heart today as if I had only heard them five minutes ago.

As BBC Sport reported, he said: "When we had bad times here, everyone stood by me and your job now is to stand by your new manager. Everyone at the club and you the fans have been the most fantastic experience of my life. Thank you."

And with that we cheered as loud as we could, defiant and galvanised by our departing love, ready for the next chapter. 

Jon Super/Associated Press

But Sir Alex knew what was coming next. He knew that before every summer comes a winter, dominated by frost and snow, when it feels like the sun will never shine again. Depression rules supreme, and there is no way to escape the falling rain.

The great man knew, and those words of "stand by your manager" were not a command from the General of a battleship, but the advice of someone who cares about your future. 

United were destined to sink into turmoil, and it is being witnessed right now. In some ways, the next relationship always had impossible standards to reach. We were always going to be on the rebound. 

David Moyes is a kind, hard-working man who will graft to put food on the table and do things right by his kin. He will always try his best.

However, what if his best is not good enough? What if he just cannot satisfy our needs?

Alastair Grant/Associated Press

Our relationship with Moyes feels more like an arranged marriage rather than a dynamic love affair. Had we been delivered Jurgen Klopp as our next partner, I think we would be reveling in his personality and flair, even if we were losing games to start off with.

The excitement would outweigh the fear. Roller coasters are essentially meant to be fun. 

The next steps after Fergie could never be perfect. They could not emulate what we had felt for a generation, and this is something we have to get used to at this present time. Many still grieve for the magic touch of Sir Alex but that flame has been extinguished, and we have no choice but to move on.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 21:  Manchester United fans display a banner devoted to Manager David Moyes during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and West Ham United at Old Trafford on December 21, 2013 in Manchester, England.
Stu Forster/Getty Images

So do Manchester United fans love David Moyes? The unsurprising answer to that question is no.

We do not love him, but we want it to work out. We want to be able to proclaim that when everyone said we had no chance together, that we proved them wrong.

We want to say that when we were mocked in the street, because we are now viewed as deconstructed failures, that we knew we would rise again. 

But the chips are against us, and time can be a cruel companion. 

Ultimately love is earned, and this period between now and the World Cup is crucial for Moyes. If he wants the fans' continued backing, he has to do better. 

He has to find a way of wooing us and making us feel special, because ultimately football fans need that. 

Most United supporters want nothing more that to fall head-over-heels for yet another Scotsman, with his flame-red hair that matches our jerseys. 

But will that actually happen? If you ask Cupid, he would simply shrug his shoulders and sigh.