David Moyes struggles highlights need for Jose Mourinho

Sports Mole assesses how things could have been different had Manchester United appointed Jose Mourinho and not David Moyes.

Respected Spanish journalist Diego Torres claimed in his recently released book that Jose Mourinho cried upon learning that he had been overlooked for the Manchester United manager's job.

In the Portuguese's office at Chelsea's Cobham training ground this morning there may also be tears, but those will either be of amusement or relief at the Old Trafford bullet that he appears to have swerved. Would the gun have been fired, though, had United opted for Mourinho and not David Moyes?

Former Sheffield United and Queens Park Rangers boss Neil Warnock claimed on BT Sport yesterday that the 20-time champions of England would be in the same predicament with Mourinho at the helm as the one that they find themselves in under Moyes. Not that a reminder is necessary, but the Red Devils have now lost four of their last six home matches in all competitions to add to their worst start to a campaign in over 50 years. The biggest indictment of Moyes's stint is that defeats are now not met with surprise.

There are those who believe that there are mitigating circumstances. Quite rightly they point to the fact that Moyes has inherited the weakest United squad since the summer of 2003 when Eric Djemba-Djemba, Kleberson and David Bellion all arrived. Even so, it's still a side that won the title by an 11-point margin last term, which could have been even greater had they not taken their foot off the pedal down the home straight.

Manchester United manager David Moyes during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Southampton at Old Trafford on October 19, 2013© Getty Images

To put the current campaign into further context, Moyes's charges, currently in seventh, have dropped 26 points. Last season's champions shipped just 25. Perhaps Warnock should revise his stance.

It doesn't take a body language expert to see that Moyes is struggling. From day one he has presented the persona of a competition winner - someone that feels extremely lucky to have been presented with the opportunity. Of course, there is nothing wrong with humility, but it is not something that will get a Premier League footballer, particularly a successful one, to put his body on the line for you.

The fact is, Moyes can be little else but humble. He doesn't have the medals, despite the fact that down the years he has had some very good Everton sides and players at his disposal. Now, picture the scene had Mourinho been given the job. He would have waltzed into Carrington in the belief that he could and would oversee a seamless transition. If anything, he would probably have believed that it was his destiny, like he should have been handed the responsibility sooner! Yes that's arrogant, but the 50-year-old has the CV to back it up.

As a manager, Mourinho is aloof, he's also egotistic and a perfectionist - all characteristics that can be attributed to the man that vacated the Old Trafford hotseat, Sir Alex Ferguson. The key factor that links the two? They both have the ultimate respect of their players. We don't know what goes on in the dressing room, but can the same be said for Moyes?

Does a player of Robin van Persie or Wayne Rooney's quality hold their current boss in such high esteem? They should, after all it's what they are paid to do (among other responsibilities), but the reality is that they probably don't. The same can be said for transfer targets. United spent the summer being linked with the likes of Cesc Fabregas and Thiago Alcantara, but the lure of Moyes is nowhere near as great as the pull that Mourinho has and Ferguson had. Consequently, Moyes only recruited Marouane Fellaini from Everton, for an eye-watering £28m as well.

Opposing bosses David Moyes and Jose Mourinho look on as their sides do battle at Old Trafford on August 26, 2013© Getty Images

Supporters of the biggest clubs would like to believe that players join their team for the prestige and the badge, but the harsh reality is that in the majority of cases, two factors affect a footballer's decision - who is the manager and how much will I get paid? If the funds are there as Moyes and chief executive Ed Woodward keep reassuring fans, would United have just signed Fellaini during the summer with Mourinho in charge? Doubtful.

Moyes will be given time to turn things round - he was given a six-year contract after all. Some United fans feel that he should be as well, pointing to the fact that the board stuck by Ferguson and Sir Matt Busby before him. They are, unquestionably, two of the best managers to have graced the game, but they took over an underachieving club with relatively low expectations. The big trophies often changed hands season by season and no-one assumed a define right to success, with the exception of perhaps the 1970s and 1980s Liverpool. Moyes, on the other hand, has taken on a completely different animal - one with a fanbase that has been spoilt since the FA Cup success of 1990.

Staying with the Liverpool theme, when the three-time title-winning Kenny Dalglish stepped down in 1991, being replaced by Graeme Souness, not one person would have predicted the downward spiral that has meant that the Reds would still be waiting for their 19th title to this very day.

It is a stark indication, if nothing else, that the United job was one that required a proven winner. Now, if only one of those was known to be leaving Real Madrid during the summer, eh Mr Warnock?

Wayne Rooney of Manchester United celebrates scoring their second goal from the penalty spot during the Barclays Premier League Match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United at White Hart Lane on December 1, 2013
Read Next:
Mid-season report: Manchester United
You May Like
Recomended from Sports Mole

1Manchester CityMan City1211104073334
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd128222762126
4Tottenham HotspurSpurs127232091123
9Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton124441313016
10Huddersfield TownHuddersfield12435817-915
11Newcastle UnitedNewcastle124261114-314
12Leicester CityLeicester123451618-213
15Stoke CityStoke123451524-913
17West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom12246918-910
18West Ham UnitedWest Ham122371125-149
19Swansea CitySwansea12228715-88
20Crystal Palace12129624-185