THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

Man Utd manager under fire from coach

icon moyes1318 March ~ Kevin Sheedy's Twitter criticism of David Moyes generated headlines this week but the man on the receiving end may have cause to feel hard done by. Sheedy, an Everton legend of the 1980s who has been a youth coach there for seven years, wrote that "Moyes was never interested in our youth team," and criticised his style of play: "Punt the ball up to [Marouane] Fellaini. Great viewing." He also compared Moyes to his successor, Roberto Martínez: "We now have a manager who wants to win games."

As a youth-team coach, Sheedy is understandably proud of his players and eager to see them progress to the first team. But Moyes was better placed than Sheedy to objectively judge a player's readiness for the Premier League and while he appears by nature a conservative manager, it's wrong to suggest the path from youth team to seniors was blocked.

Tony Hibbert, Leon Osman, Wayne Rooney, Jack Rodwell, James Vaughan and Victor Anichebe all became first-team regulars under Moyes, and Ross Barkley was given his debut. Barkley was spoken of in glowing terms throughout his time in the youth ranks and if anything, Moyes promoted him too soon during a run of games in the 2011-12 season. He's a much better player now but still not an automatic choice under Martínez.  

It's also possible Sheedy didn't know what he was getting into. He's new on Twitter and judging by his faltering attempts to reply to messages, hasn't fully grasped the medium. He has since deleted the offending tweets and clearly didn't expect them to generate a news story.

Sheedy's final two comments are also open to interpretation. Everton did knock the ball long to Fellaini a lot. From then, though, he would link up with the Leighton Baines-Steven Pienaar axis which produced some of the best football seen at Goodison Park in years. Martínez's team goes long less often and on the whole Everton are more entertaining, but the team weren't long-ball cloggers and results aren't overwhelmingly better under Moyes's successor.

Everton attack in greater numbers but have won only two games more than at this stage last season, and are in the same position – sixth. Time will tell if that changes, and with two games in hand on Tottenham, it might. But Moyes delivered more good results than bad at Everton and never promised beautiful football. He might argue ends matter more than means. It's the absence of both at Manchester United that's his real problem. Andrew Tuft

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