Five reasons why David Moyes had to go
There were many factors that contributed to the downfall of David Moyes; here are five of the main reasons Manchester United were left with no choice but to axe the Scot. 1. The incessant negativity Quite simply, David Moyes did not speak like a Manchester United manager. Where Sir Alex Ferguson once dubbed Newcastle United a "wee club in the northeast," Moyes seemed fearful of a side that had not won at Old Trafford in 41 years. Ahead of Alan Pardew's visit in December (to the home of the champions, no less) Moyes said he would try and "make it difficult" for Newcastle. In so doing, it showed that he continually struggled to shake the shackles that defined his Everton tenure -- that of the feisty underdog. Back then, his primary object was to "get out of Old Trafford alive." Contrast that to Roberto Martinez relishing the trip to Old Trafford in December and urging his players to show they belong on such a stage. Needless to say, Everton and Newcastle both triumphed at Old Trafford. Following a damaging 2-2 draw at Cardiff in November, Moyes laughably claimed that he would have taken a point at the newly promoted side if he was offered it before kickoff. A point. Against a newly promoted side in the grip of damaging boardroom unrest. But perhaps the most damning public statement arrived when Manchester City wiped the floor with Moyes' United at Old Trafford. Following the abject 3-0 defeat in March, Moyes said: "We have played a very good side, playing at the sort of level we are aspiring to. We need to come up a couple of levels ourselves because at the moment we are not there." Supporters need a rallying call in dark moments, something to cling to so they can face the next few games -- or even chiding chums at work. But when Moyes opened his mouth, more misery often ensued. He warned that "more blows" would follow in the aftermath of the 4-1 defeat to Man City in September, a declaration that left many fans punch-drunk. 2. The abject results It must be said that Ferguson's record in the big matches was hardly perfect -- United ended a 10-year wait for a league win at Chelsea in 2012 -- but Moyes' inferiority in the headline games was horrendously clear. He arrived at Old Trafford having never tasted victory away at either United, Liverpool, Chelsea or Arsenal and this season, that record has continued. His record in matches against Arsenal, Manchester City, Liverpool, Everton and Chelsea this season: Played 12, Won 1, Drawn 3, Lost 8. Five goals scored, 22 conceded. Such a record is pathetic for a club of United's stature, and more in keeping with a midtable side. 3. Record-breaking ineptitude Just when United fans thought it couldn't get any worse, it often did. - Lowest Premier League points tally in club history - Never finished below third in the Premier League until now (1st 13 times; 2nd 5 times; 3rd 3 times) - Three defeats in a row for the first time since 2001 - Eleven Premier League defeats - First home defeat to Swansea - First home defeat to Newcastle since 1972 - First home defeat to West Brom since 1978 - First league defeat to Stoke since 1984 - First home defeat to Everton since 1992 - First time Manchester City, Everton and Liverpool have done the double over United in the Premier League - First time United have conceded a first-minute goal in the Premier League - First defeat on New Year's Day in 20 years - Knocked out of the FA Cup in the third round (happened just once under Ferguson) 4. Dressing room mutiny Joe Hart on Danny Welbeck: "Danny [on England duty] is always the hardest one to crack because he is a mad, mad, mad Manchester United fan." When the local lad from Longsight -- who has been at the club he supports since he was a child -- reportedly wants to leave his hometown team, you have a problem. Welbeck adores Manchester United and has a deep affinity with the fans, but under Moyes he has grown frustrated. He is not the only one. Rio Ferdinand spoke out against Moyes' approach to team selection and Javier Hernandez has been cryptic, especially on social media, about his future. Perhaps the most remarkable of the lot, though, was Paul Scholes' television appearance after the Manchester derby at Old Trafford. Bear in mind that Scholes was a man who treated a microphone with contempt in his playing days when you watch his cutting analysis here. To see Scholes to take such a leave of normal protocol and go on television to dissect United and Moyes hinted at a growing sense of disillusionment from within the club. 5. Tactics and team selection Fulham rookie Dan Burn had to clarify his comments to insist he meant no disrespect when he discussed United’s tactics in the wake of the shocking 2-2 draw in February, but he had a point, regardless: "I've never headed that many balls since the Conference," he said. Incredibly, United sent 81 crosses over during the match against the league's worst team at the time. You would have thought that after 20 or maybe 30, such a tactic was not working. But 81? Watching Moyes try to use Juan Mata was akin to seeing a pensioner operate an iPad in the opening stages of the Spaniard's career at the club. The Scot simply did not know what to do with Mata, often wasting him in the wrong position when it was clear he would thrive as a No. 10. The Everton players he used to coach have also highlighted Moyes' tactical game, as Ross Barkley said: "Martinez is more tactical. We do a lot more tactical work which is good for me because I'm young and still learning." It took Robin van Persie's latest injury to jolt Moyes into action and consider changing his approach from using two main strikers up front. He insisted on using van Persie and Wayne Rooney up front together in what constituted a sketchy Plan A. You could forget about a Plan B. Moyes is a very good football manager as his spell at Everton shows, but he never stood a chance at Old Trafford. The man who will replace him may walk up Sir Alex Ferguson Way, past the Sir Alex Ferguson statue and into a ground where the Sir Alex Ferguson stand peers back at him, but the spectre of United's greatest manager will not loom over him in the way it has done with Moyes.