The usual life of a football manager is brutish and short. Clubs sack failing managers; it happens all the time. There must be some close relation between Manchester United and ‘Sacking’. Manchester United manager David Moyes was sacked on April 22, 2014 only 316 days (ten months) after he signed a six-year contract to replace Sir Alex Ferguson. Moyes, 50, was chosen by Ferguson himself to succeed him when he retired after 26 years.
United’s title challenge was finished on New Year’s Day by defeat to Tottenham. A Champions League spot for next season was a virtual impossibility by the time Olympiakos beat United in Greece. That beating by such low-quality opposition in the return league was the high point of Moyes’ tenure. Only once did Moyes look slightly comfortable as United manager, and that was his first proper day. As Man-U crushed Swansea at the Liberty Stadium, he was beckoned by fans to give them a wave. He did so shyly and has very few opportunities to repeat the gesture.
Patience is always tested by results, but the lack of any clear sense of future direction is what ultimately killed Moyes. The decision to remove Moyes takes United yet further from the Ferguson era. Management said player-coach Ryan Giggs will take charge. The failures of the season forced United to make the type of decision that other clubs frequently make. Liverpool and United have swapped first and seventh position in the Premier League as Moyes’ watch is perhaps most devastating of all. Moyes had to go. He offered no reasons for United to keep him. With him his supportive banner ‘Chosen One’ has gone too.
Indian Brothel to Man-U
In a country dominated by passion for cricket a son of a sex worker in Kolkata’s infamous red-light district has been selected to participate in a Manchester United soccer training camp in England. The 16-year-old impoverished (Rajib Boy), who lives with his mother in a one-room tenement in Sonagachi, headed to the UK in April for the programme. He hopes the sport will liberate them both from poverty and filthy livelihood.
He won a place in the camp after a nationwide talent contest. He’s one of 11 youngsters invited to join the Man-U Soccer School, whose namesake team—Manchester United—remains one of the sport’s premiere leagues and counts David Beckham as a former team member.
He was first spotted by Bishwajit Majumdar, a sports coach with a local organization where Rajib developed a love for soccer. According to Majumdar: “He stood out from the other boys. He is so talented, his only drawback is that he is short, but he makes up for it with his ambition. Other teenagers used to call him names and abuse him and his mother. Now they’re asking him to give them some tips when he returns from Manchester.”
On Roll Liverpool
What was looking like a gripping finale to the Premier League title race is starting to turn into a procession for Liverpool. They may be third favourites in a three-horse race to lift the Barclays Premier League title but they continue to get results like they neither know nor care. It all started with a stunning 5-1 home victory over leaders Arsenal. Their first 20 minutes against Arsenal were sensational. The second on the list was Fulham. The away side had twice fallen behind to an own goal from Kolo Toure and Kieran Richardson’s close-range strike, but Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho restored parity but Steven Gerrard’s last-gasp penalty secured a huge three points for Liverpool in a 3-2 victory.
The reds then crushed Swansea by 4-3. It was Jordan Henderson’s late goal that kept Liverpool’s BPL title bid. Daniel Sturridge and former Man-U forward Ruud van showcased their devastating attacking power and worrying defensive frailty, and scored two goals to stun Swansea. Luis Suarez in the first half and substitute Raheem Sterling added a second in the second half with his first touch produced a 3-0 win over Southampton, their fourth straight win. Steven Gerrard converted two penalties and Luis Suarez also scored to found superiority over Man-U with an accomplished 3-0 victory over its great rival in their fifth straight win.
The next four (Cardiff, Sunderland, Spurs and West Ham) were relatively easy wins for Liverpool. They beat Cardiff by 6-3 and Spurs by 4-0 margins. It was tight with Sunderland though, Captain Gerrard and Daniel Sturridge both scored a goal apiece to ensure a win. Sturridge scoring his 20th league goal ensured he and his strike partner Luis Suarez achieved a feat, not seen in 50 years. It was Gerrard’s two penalties against West Ham that set the tone for Liverpool. Raheem Sterling scored twice and Luis Suarez broke the 30-goal barrier as Liverpool beat Norwich 3-2. There is an irresistible quality about Liverpool now. While the teams around them are finding ways to lose, they are finding ways to win.
By Sorabh Aggarwal