Following his sacking as manager of Manchester United on Tuesday, David Moyes released an official statement on Wednesday in which he clarified he was "grateful" to former manager Alex Ferguson for the opportunity and acknowledged he had failed to live up on the expectations associated with managing such a big club.
To have been appointed as manager of Manchester United, one of the biggest football clubs in the world, was and remains something of which I will always be incredibly proud.
Taking charge after such a long period of continuous stability and success at the club was inevitably going to be a significant challenge, but it was one which I relished and never had a second thought about taking on.
The scale of the manager's job at United is immense, but I have never stepped away from hard work and the same applies to my coaching staff. I thank them for their dedication and loyalty throughout the last season.
We were fully focused and committed to the process of the fundamental rebuilding that is required for the senior squad. This had to be achieved whilst delivering positive results in the Premier League and the Champions League. However, during this period of transition, performances and results have not been what Manchester United and its fans are used to or expect, and I both understand and share their frustration.
Fans of the club had been calling for Moyes to be sacked from the club for weeks, and following the Red Devils' 2-0 loss against Everton on Sunday, rumours those fans would see their wish fulfilled started to spread.
But portions of the club's supporters remained in Moyes' corner, something the former Toffees manager remained thankful for until the very end:
In my short time at the club I have learnt what special places Old Trafford and Carrington are. I would like to thank the United staff for making me feel so welcome and part of the United family from my first day. And of course thank you to those fans who have supported me throughout the season. I wish you and the club all the best for the future.
As shared by ESPN FC, the League Managers' Association, a union for all managers involved in Premier League, Football League and national team football, voiced its displeasure with the way Moyes' resignation was handled:
LMA chief executive, Richard Bevan: "The LMA is very disappointed with the nature of David's departure."— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) April 23, 2014
However, via the AP's Martyn Ziegler, spokesmen for the club denied the timeline being associated with Moyes' sacking as being the correct one:
ManUtd spokesman denies LMA claim telling me: "Decision not taken until late Mon night + was communicated face-to-face 1st thing Tues. 1/2— Martyn Ziegler (@martynziegler) April 23, 2014
"When reports started emerging on internet news sites on Monday afternoon, no decision had been taken at that time." 2/2— Martyn Ziegler (@martynziegler) April 23, 2014
Social media immediately reacted to the former United manager's statement, with the vast majority of fans describing Moyes' words as "classy." More than a few even questioned the way the club handled the situation these past few days:
I'm sure David Moyes is a nice guy, his words reflect that. Embarrassing how the club handled the sacking.— It's not my birthday (@MrKazBansal) April 23, 2014
But following the loss to Everton, Moyes' sacking had become almost inevitable. With the club not able to qualify for UEFA Champions League football for the first time in 19 years and even the Europa League seemingly out of reach, the Red Devils were very much in crisis.
Under Moyes, United started the season by winning the Community Shield, but that would be the only silverware the Scotsman would be able to reel in during his time with the club.
The lack of an immediate impact from marquee signing Marouane Fellaini and continued struggles from Tom Cleverley severely weakened the team in the centre of midfield. And as more time passed, the club's results continued to worsen.
The addition of Juan Mata during the January transfer window was but a band-aid for a much larger problem, as the Red Devils' brand of slow, uninspired football angered fans and pundits alike.
Moyes kept reminding the world his team would require time, but United never seemed to make any sort of progress under his watch, and continued losses against the Premier League's top sides had the team sliding ever further down from the top four and the Champions League tickets that come with such a finish.
The 2-0 loss at Goodison Park was just the final straw, a painful conclusion to what had been a most disappointing season.
Moyes was quite successful coaching Everton during the previous decade, and it seems very likely the Scotsman will have little difficulty finding a job as manager with a club of a similar stature.
Perhaps he wasn't ready for the biggest of stages, like Old Trafford, or perhaps Moyes' personality simply wasn't made for a club the magnitude of United. Whatever the case was, a split between club and manager could very well be in the best interests of all parties involved in the long run.
Judging by this respectful statement, Moyes will not allow any hard feelings to get in the way of his appreciation of the chance he was given with the club and such an optimistic viewpoint could only prove helpful as he starts the search for a new job.