GOODISON PARK, LIVERPOOL—Manchester United have played worse this season. A lot worse.
But David Moyes hasn't suffered through many more uncomfortable days in his new job than he did at Goodison Park on Sunday.
It started with a smattering of boos from the home fans as he walked out onto the touchline, and it ended with the Everton fans gleefully taunting him with chants of "you're getting sacked in the morning."
Before being escorted out of the stadium, the Grim Reaper also briefly had his eye on the United manager.
In May, Moyes left here a hero. But a less than a year later, he returned for the first time as a figure of fun.
The Everton fans sang "are you watching David Moyes" and "Moyesie, Moyesie give us a wave." He didn't respond. They didn't want him to. It was just another way to mock him.
Everton's progression under Roberto Martinez this season has only highlighted how far United have fallen under Moyes.
He might have known it would be difficult to win the Premier League in his first season. He might have thought it was a tall order to win any trophy.
But not even he could have thought that, by mid-April, he would be looking up at his former club from seventh in the table, hopes of Champions League football already shattered.
That is to take nothing away from what Martinez has done.
He found solid foundations at his new club after arriving from Wigan Athletic and strived to make them better. He is succeeding where Moyes is failing.
But actually it's not failure at all.
At United, failure is not winning the title or the Champions League. They have failed when they go a season without a trophy.
Failure isn't a strong enough word to describe this season, one that will almost certainly see United finish in mid-table. They had already been crowned champions this time last year.
Perhaps the only thing that is damaging Moyes more than his team's struggles on the pitch are his comments off it.
He walked into the press conference suite after the defeat to Everton and insisted United had played "very well" in the first half.
There were few listening who agreed.
Whatever happens in the final four games, Moyes has made sure the board have a decision to make this summer. It has gotten to the point where they must back him or sack him.
Moyes isn't responsible for everything that has gone wrong this season, and it's true the squad needs a major overhaul.
But if the board don't trust their manager to carry out that work then they must speak up. To give him a sizeable transfer kitty while harbouring doubts about his ability would be irresponsible.
There will be changes at Old Trafford this summer, that much is guaranteed. But we are still waiting to find out how far-reaching they'll be.
All quotes obtained firsthand.
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