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Is David Moyes losing the Manchester United dressing room?

Rumours are rife that the Manchester United squad are growing increasingly unhappy with David Moyes. Here, Sports Mole examines whether he has lost the Old Trafford dressing room.

Yesterday afternoon, there were two matches played at Goodison Park. One was viewed by David Moyes, while the other was watched by the rest of us.

Over on Moyes-cam, the Scot witnessed his Manchester United side "keep the ball incredibly well" and "keep control of the game". In contrast, on television screens around the world, last season's champions by an 11-point margin produced an abject, inept, snail-paced and largely clueless performance. Come the final whistle, the 2-0 defeat was kind on them.

While it may not have been as harrowing as February's loss to Olympiacos by the same margin, it was a close second during what has been a "rank and rotten" - to use a Moyes phrase - campaign for those of a United persuasion.

On a personal level, though, Sunday's defeat to Everton will have left Moyes emotionally battered and bruised. After 11 years of hard graft on Merseyside, the 50-year-old was roundly jeered by those that had given him a standing ovation just 11 months earlier.

In the days leading up to this fixture, Moyes was fooling nobody when he spun the 'just another game' tag. He was desperate to silence the inevitable boos and mocking chants that greeted his Goodison return.

David Moyes and Roberto Martinez stand on the touchline before Everton vs. Manchester United on April 20, 2014.© Getty Images

Yet, just when he needed his players to stand shoulder to shoulder with him, chests puffed out, they left their boss isolated and vulnerable.

From the first whistle, Moyes stood on the edge of his technical area waving his hands as if he was stranded on a desert island trying to capture the attention of a passing plane. Meanwhile, the response from his charges on the pitch was to seemingly shun his existence like an embarrassed teenager being dropped off at the school disco by an over-protective parent.

As the first half became the second, Moyes gave up the ghost, retreated to his seat in the away dugout and proceeded to flick through a flip chart of set-piece routines with his assistant Steve Round.

All the while, he had to endure his opposite number and replacement, Roberto Martinez, exude confidence on the touchline as his players, many of whom Moyes had convinced to join the club, hang on his every word, carrying out each order to the letter.

In his role as a Sky Sports pundit, United's former treble-winning striker Dwight Yorke, ridiculed by some United fans for being overly optimistic on occasions, reflected: "You expect players to be fresh and up for the game for the manager's sake because they know how important it was for him. He has learnt the players he trusted in let him down badly."

A dejected David Moyes manager of Manchester United looks to the ground during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Manchester United on April 20, 2014© Getty Images

This morning, ex-England and Liverpool midfielder Jamie Redknapp weighed into the debate by writing in the Daily Mail: "The players look unhappy with David Moyes - they are not performing for him. It is a real worry and he needs to get them motivated fast."

It was recently discussed here on Sports Mole just how much the fans would play a leading role in determining Moyes's future and while that remains a relevant point, what could prove terminal to Moyes's tenure is that he has now reportedly lost the faith, assuming that he once had it, of those that many had expected to be the cornerstone of the United team for campaigns to come.

There may be a number of senior players that are said to have held serious misgivings for some time regarding Moyes's ability to keep the Old Trafford trophy count ticking over smoothly, but with those tipped for summer departures, it was an issue that the former Preston North End centre-half and boss could sweep under the carpet, until next season at least.

Danny Welbeck, though, is a different proposition. Born in Longsight, the 23-year-old may divide opinion where his goalscoring credentials are concerned, but the local lad, in the eyes of the supporters, is one of their own – something that since the 'Class of 92' disbanded has been all too rare.

However, journalists with a close connection to the club have within the last 24 hours insisted that Welbeck, not known as trouble-maker, is prepared to depart a team that he has supported since birth, citing a lack of playing time and faith shown in his ability by Moyes.

David Moyes the manager of Manchester United shakes hands with Danny Welbeck after the final whistle during the Barclays Premier League match between Swansea City and Manchester United at the Liberty Stadium on August 17, 2013© Getty Images

For his part, Moyes said this when pressed by reporters after the Everton loss: "Danny Welbeck is really important to me and I really value him. There have been lots of stories. I can only tell you Danny Welbeck is really important to me and really important to Manchester United." Note that he failed to dismiss the rumour that the England international had actually grown disgruntled.

What's more, defender Phil Jones, once tipped by Sir Alex Ferguson to become one of United's greatest ever players, will not have taken too kindly to his actions being publicly branded "stupid" by his manager after he had given away a penalty against the Toffees.

As well as Welbeck, Tom Cleverley and Chris Smalling have also been reprimanded by Moyes in recent weeks for a night on the tiles. Such players, scared of the wrath that they would suffer, would not have taken such a risk during Ferguson's regime – a regime that they ultimately respected and believed in.

Jamie Carragher, basking in the glory that after 24 years of disappointment, his beloved Liverpool are on the cusp of winning a league title (as if Moyes needed another stick to be beaten with), said in the Sky Sports studio after Moyes had spoken to the broadcaster yesterday evening: "That's the worst I've seen from them over 90 minutes. If David Moyes thinks Man United played well, I would worry for Man United."

As the Everton fans taunted their counterparts with chants of "stuck with Moyes", it's becoming increasingly apparent that the United dressing room have started to share Carragher's apprehension.


David Moyes: Under Pressure - Click here for more stories

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A dejected David Moyes manager of Manchester United looks to the ground during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Manchester United on April 20, 2014
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