So, it’s a little over an hour until the first leg of the Capital One Cup semi-final against Sunderland kicks off, and all eyes will be on United once again.
Sunday’s FA Cup exit against Swansea felt the closest we’ve had to a real watershed moment since Moyes took charge. Anything but a win tonight is at once unthinkable and oddly easy to imagine, but even if we manage to mess this one up, is there really any chance Moyes will be out this season?
Surely the Glazers are too smart to let a $2-3 billion investment burst like a bubble. The likelihood is they will give Moyes a full season, and see whether we make the Champions League.
If we do, he will stay on until at least the late autumn of 2014. If we don’t make the CL, then we need to hire a big name manager who can attract the top players and persuade them that top European football is only a season away.
The owners may have to pay more in wages to attract those players, but without success and, at a minimum, CL football, sponsorships and commercial income will dwindle, and the value of the team will diminish considerably.
SAF chose Moyes, and he is unlikely to admit, at this stage, that he made a mistake. I guess when Moyes does go (if he does in next 6-12 months), he will resign, as opposed to being fired, to avoid, or at least suppress, questions about SAF’s judgement.
Unfortunately, nothing lasts forever. We have had a remarkable run for some 20 years with unparalleled success. How we recover following a bad year will determine whether our fall from the top is ephemeral or a Liverpudlian déjà vu, with 20 years in the wilderness to follow.