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A look back at David Moyes's ill-fated Manchester United reign

Seven years to the day since David Moyes was announced as Sir Alex Ferguson's successor at Manchester United, Sports Mole looks back as his ill-fated 10-month reign.

The direction of Manchester United's new era was made clear seven years ago today, when then-Everton boss David Moyes was confirmed as Sir Alex Ferguson's successor at Old Trafford.

Ferguson, who announced his retirement one day earlier, was always going to be an impossible act to follow; he had spent 27 years at the helm and turned the club into the most successful in English football with a whopping 38-trophy haul.

The legendary Scot personally selected his successor, and the logic behind picking Moyes was clear - he too had been a long-serving manager who had built up a respected reputation at Everton, albeit without claiming silverware.

Trying to appoint a 'Ferguson-lite' of sorts was always risky, though, and the man the United faithful christened 'the Chosen One' soon saw his promising managerial career turn sour.

Moyes was sacked just 10 months later, although his struggles to fill Ferguson's shoes have been put into perspective since with world-renowned managers Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho failing to do so too.

Here, on the anniversary of his appointment, Sports Mole takes a look back at Moyes's ill-fated 10-month Manchester United reign.



JULY

DavidMoyes pictured after taking over at Man Utd in July 2013© Reuters

Ferguson typically left United as English champions courtesy of a Robin van Persie-inspired 2012-13 campaign, although there was a consensus that the Scot's last great team was now past its best with Ryan Giggs close to 40 and Rio Ferdinand, Patrice Evra, Michael Carrick and Nemanja Vidic all the wrong side of 30.

There was also a significant change in the hierarchy with David Gill stepping down and Ed Woodward assuming his role, and some United fans would argue that the club's transfer dealings that summer would prove prophetic.

Guillermo Varela was the only player to come in before September, and matters on the field were not much better.

Moyes tasted defeat in his very first game at the helm - at the hands of a Thai All-Star XI during pre-season - and ended July with a record of two defeats, two wins and one draw from five pre-season matches against teams they were expected to beat.



AUGUST

DavidMoyes lifts the Community Shield with Man Utd in 2013© Reuters

August did not start much better either; United drew with AIK in their final pre-season game abroad before losing to Sevilla in Ferdinand's testimonial.

As reigning champions United were handed the chance to get a piece of silverware early in the Moyes era when the Community Shield came around, with surprise FA Cup winners Wigan Athletic their opponents at Wembley.

Plenty of unwanted records would follow for Moyes, but a brace from Van Persie that day ensured that the Scot became the first United boss to win a trophy outright during his first season in charge of the club.

There was cause for optimism after matchday one of the Premier League season too, with United running out 4-1 winners over Swansea City to storm to the top of the table.

It proved to be all downhill from there, though, with a goalless draw - the first at Old Trafford in 77 top-flight outings stretching back to 2009 - against Chelsea leaving Moyes still waiting for his first home win as manager heading into September.



SEPTEMBER

DavidMoyes and MarouaneFellaini in 2013© Reuters

In fairness to Moyes, he was handed a difficult start to life as United boss; having faced Chelsea in his second league game, Liverpool and Manchester City followed in their opening five domestic fixtures.

A 1-0 defeat at Anfield saw Moyes suffer his first competitive defeat as United boss against the worst possible opponents as the Red Devils slipped out of the top four - a position to which they would never again return during his time in charge. It was also the first time that United had failed to score in successive games in six years.

The only major signing of the summer followed a day later as Moyes brought Marouane Fellaini with him from Everton and, while the Belgian went on to score some crucial goals for the club, he would always be seen by many as the embodiment of the Moyes era.

An international break gave United the chance to regroup following their underwhelming start to the campaign, and they returned refreshed as victory over Crystal Palace gave them the first home win of the new era before a 4-2 triumph over Bayer Leverkusen three days later handed Moyes his first Champions League win as boss.

Any growing optimism was soon stamped out by their nearest neighbours, though; a trip across Manchester to the Etihad Stadium saw City storm into a 4-0 lead before Wayne Rooney added a consolation in United's heaviest away defeat to their local rivals in nine years.

After that defeat, a League Cup win over Liverpool was very welcome as Javier Hernandez's strike went some way to avenging their league loss earlier in the month.

However, their Premier League woes continued with a first home defeat of the season at the hands of West Bromwich Albion - the Baggies' first win at Old Trafford since 1978, when not a single member of the 2013 visiting squad had even been born.



OCTOBER

DavidMoyes pictured as Man Utd boss in October 2013© Reuters

The pressure on Moyes had already begun to build heading into October, and so an unbeaten month was exactly what he needed.

Draws away to Shakhtar Donetsk and at home to Southampton ensured that it was by no means a perfect month, but the Red Devils won the rest of their October outings - against Sunderland, Stoke City, Real Sociedad and Norwich City.

Even the Premier League triumphs against Sunderland and Stoke were not entirely convincing, though; United had to come from behind in both of them, with Adnan Januzaj rescuing them on his first top-flight start against the Black Cats and some more familiar names doing the job against the Potters.



NOVEMBER

DavidMoyes pictured as Man Utd boss in November 2013© Reuters

United's improved form continued into November, beginning with a 3-1 win over Fulham which secured back-to-back league victories for the first time since Moyes took over.

Two on the bounce soon became three as Moyes claimed arguably the biggest league scalp so far, beating old rivals Arsenal 1-0 at Old Trafford courtesy of Van Persie's goal against his former club.

A goalless draw at Sociedad was sandwich between those two league results, and they once again had to settle for a share of the spoils at struggling Cardiff City when a late goal denied them a fourth consecutive top-flight win.

United saved the best for last this month, though, thrashing Leverkusen 5-0 in Germany to secure their place in the Champions League knockout rounds with a game to spare - a result which proved to be their biggest win of the Moyes era.



DECEMBER

DavidMoyes pictured as Man Utd boss in December 2013© Reuters

A 2-2 draw at Tottenham Hotspur on December 1 saw United's unbeaten run extend to 12 games, but that is as far as it would extend into what proved to be a topsy-turvy month for the club.

United suffered back-to-back home defeats at the hands of Everton and Newcastle United respectively within the space of three days, with Everton recording their first Old Trafford victory in 21 years and Newcastle winning there for the first time in 41 years.

By now Old Trafford was a shadow of the fortress it had become under Ferguson - a Theatre of Dreams for visiting clubs more than United themselves - but they did bounce back with victory over Shakhtar to seal an unbeaten Champions League group stage.

Indeed, following the significant lows of those successive losses to Everton and Newcastle, Man United appeared to turn a corner, winning their final six games of the year across all competitions - their best run under Moyes.



JANUARY

DavidMoyes and Juan Mata© Reuters

Such a positive end to the year left United fans optimistic heading into 2014, yet that semi-restored hope took less than one day to evaporate.

The Red Devils lost their first three games of the year in three different competitions - the first time they had lost three on the spin since 2001 - starting with defeat to Tottenham Hotspur on New Year's Day which was their fourth home loss of the Premier League season already.

There was more Old Trafford misery four days later as Swansea City dumped them out of the FA Cup at the first hurdle - the Welsh outfit's first ever win away to United and only the second time in 30 years that United had crashed out in the third round.

Just two days after that, Moyes's side were beaten by struggling Sunderland in the first leg of their League Cup semi-final at the Stadium of Light and, while United won the second leg by the same scoreline later that month, they were denied a place at Wembley on penalties.

The defending champions gained a measure of revenge over Swansea with victory in the Premier League, while they also overcame the division's other Welsh team Cardiff City at the end of the month, but defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge made it four defeats and two cup exits in a wretched January.

There was a positive off the pitch, though, as United brought in Juan Mata from Chelsea as Moyes's biggest signing of his tenure.



FEBRUARY

DavidMoyes pictured as Man Utd boss in February 2013© Reuters

United's return to winning ways against Cardiff was brief, with February following a similarly disappointing pattern to January as the pressure began to pile on Moyes's shoulders.

Defeat at Stoke in their opening game of the month - their first league loss to the Potters in 30 years - set the tone, and that was followed up by yet more dropped points at home - this time in a 2-2 draw with the league's bottom side Fulham.

A goalless draw at Arsenal was more respectable but again did little to improve their top-four hopes, and a 2-0 win at Crystal Palace on February 22 proved to be their only win of the month, in addition to their first away win of the calendar year.

Another miserable month ended with a 2-0 defeat away to Olympiacos in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie, a first ever loss to Greek opposition which left them a mountain to climb in the second leg.



MARCH

DavidMoyes pictured as Man Utd boss in March 2014© Reuters

March contained arguably the two lowest points of the Moyes era - 3-0 defeats at home to both of their two biggest rivals.

Steven Gerrard scored two penalties and missed another, with Luis Suarez adding Liverpool's third when they visited Old Trafford on March 16 to complete the league double over their greatest enemies.

It was a similar story nine days later in the 150th Manchester derby, when Edin Dzeko scored after only 47 seconds to set up a comfortable win at Old Trafford - a result which prompted United fans to pay for a fly-over in their next match which read: 'Wrong One - Moyes Out'.

The team responded in the best way possible to that banner, beating Aston Villa 4-1 to end a tumultuous month on a high, although there were some significant positives to go along with their two major disappointments prior to that.

A Van Persie hat-trick saw United overcome their two-goal aggregate deficit to book their place in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, while they began the month with a comfortable victory over West Brom and a 2-0 win over West Ham United contained one of the goals of the season as Rooney scored from inside his own half.

Indeed, it proved to be their best month of 2014 so far results-wise, but the manner of their defeats at home to Liverpool and Man City meant that the writing was very much on the wall for Moyes.



APRIL

DavidMoyes pictured as Man Utd boss in April 2014© Reuters

April started encouragingly enough for Moyes despite the pressure on his shoulders; a 1-1 draw at home to reigning European champions Bayern Munich in the first leg of their quarter-final was nothing to be ashamed of, while a 4-0 win at Newcastle was their biggest Premier League victory of the season.

However, with a top-four finish in the Premier League looking increasingly unlikely it was largely down to the Champions League to save his job, and a 3-1 defeat to Bayern in the second leg left him hanging by a thread.

The final straw proved to be a 2-0 defeat to his former club Everton at Goodison Park, which sealed the Toffees' first league double over the Red Devils since 1970 and made it a record of only one win in 12 games against the division's top eight sides that season.

More importantly, it was the result which mathematically ruled United out of finishing in the Champions League places with four games of the season remaining, and Moyes was sacked two days later.

At the time of his departure the club sat seventh in the table with their lowest goal difference and points tally at that stage of a Premier League campaign, while they had also suffered more home defeats during Moyes's time in charge than they had in the previous three seasons combined under Ferguson.

It was the first time United had failed to qualify for the Champions League since 1995, and they have only finished in the top four twice in the five seasons since too.

It is impossible to know whether a different manager would have fared any better when trying to take over from Ferguson, but Moyes's 10-month tenure is one both he and the club would be keen to wipe from their slate.

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