Rio Ferdinand's online magazine accidentally revealed "time is running out" for David Moyes, before quickly altering the headline, adding further woe to a difficult season for the Manchester United manager.
Under the feature '#5 things we learned in football this week', the magazine wrote: 'It’s been a tough old season for David Moyes, and the worry for him is that a 3-0 home loss to Liverpool might not yet represent its nadir.
'Not only does his side need to overturn a two-goal midweek deficit against Olympiacos to avoid a Champions League exit, but they then welcome Man City to Old Trafford a week on Tuesday. It could be a long week.'
They also decided to change the headline. It had read: 'Time is running out for Moyes' but is now: 'There's no let up due for Moyes'.
Moyes has suffered a season of turmoil since taking the United hot seat. Many believed any successor to Sir Alex Ferguson would find it extremely difficult to follow the legendary manager's output of trophies, but Moyes has failed in spectacular fashion.
Is time running out for David Moyes?
United currently linger seventh in the Premier League and failed to make an impact in the FA Cup. Their Capital One Cup penalty loss to Sunderland highlighted a side that lacks conviction, while the impending Olympiakos fixture could add further woe to a difficult week for all involved at the club.
The struggling team take to the field just three days after being destroyed by Liverpool at Old Trafford. Brendan Rodgers' lethal lineup ripped through United during their 3-0 win, further exposing a squad that is lacking quality and depth.
This season of "new lows" shows little sign of letting up, and if United repeat the quality of performance we saw during their 2-0 first-leg defeat to Olympiakos, it seems Moyes may be sent packing. Should United fail to beat West Ham and Manchester City in the week afterwards, his position becomes untenable.
Ferdinand's magazine mistake follows on from the player questioning Moyes' late selection tactics, as reported by BT Sport and via Jamie Jackson of The Guardian:
This manager's a bit different in that he doesn't name the team beforehand.
[...] It's hard. It's hard to do that mentally because you spend a lot of nervous energy thinking: 'Am I playing' or 'Am I not playing?' and you're just going round in circles in your head and turning into a madman.
Samuel Luckhurst of the Huffington Post believes Ferdinand's lack of tact should see him removed from the team:
That's twice Ferdinand's undermined Moyes this season. Shouldn't play under him again out of principle. Shame it has to end this way.— Samuel Luckhurst (@samuelluckhurst) March 19, 2014
Ferdinand enjoyed one of the best seasons of his career last year, but has failed to get anywhere near this level under Moyes. He has made just 15 appearances across the Premier League and Champions League, appearing sloppy and uninterested during the majority.
While the magazine occurrence is unfortunate, Ferdinand hasn't appeared supportive of Moyes in public—a telling omission from the experienced player. His key role in the United squad has vanished, and at the age of 35, he is unlikely to ever rekindle his best form.
Should Moyes receive the sack in the coming days, Ferdinand's publication may be accused of unveiling information that was meant to be kept private.