- Premier League
Boardroom turns against Moyes
Key Manchester United boardroom figures have turned against David Moyes as the prospect of the manager getting sacked has been properly raised for the first time.
Club sources have told ESPN that although the owners, the Glazer family, remain behind their manager, they are now open to the idea of making a change and the next three games could prove decisive.
Van Gaal scents an opportunity
- The Holland manager, Louis van Gaal, appeared to be a racing certainty to replace Tim Sherwood as Tottenham's head coach in the summer.
- However, as the Dutchman prepares to leave his job with the national team after the World Cup and Manchester United in disarray, he is said to have cooled slightly on that idea.
- But Van Gaal will have competition for a seat in the Manchester United dugout and Miguel Delaney thinks one of five men could replace David Moyes.
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They are said to have become very "nervous" about the nature of recent performances, never mind results, with a nadir coming in the 3-0 home defeat to Liverpool. Some United officials now openly maintain that a managerial change is needed.
Old Trafford sources say it has also been noted that Sir Alex Ferguson is no longer backing Moyes so vocally at boardroom level, although the former manager is not said to have turned against his replacement. It is believed Moyes retains the backing of Bobby Charlton.
The next week could bring a watershed. United must overturn a 2-0 deficit in the Champions League against Olympiakos on Wednesday and then face an awkward trip to West Ham before a daunting second derby of the season against Manchester City.
Qualification for the quarter-finals of the Champions League would strengthen Moyes' position and could change the mood music at the club but elimination followed by poor performances in the two games after that would pile on the pressure and put breaking point in sight.
Doubts about the new managerial regime have increased at virtually every level at United and financial concerns, despite the poverty of recent performances, have now become one of the most influential factors in the maelstrom.
Sponsors and commercial partners signed recently have reportedly let it be known to the club that they are less than enthused about being linked to failure, having come on board because of the club's reputation for success.
This is said to have most unnerved the hierarchy and long-term damage to United as a brand could be the clinching point in any decision.
United have long planned for a season out of the Champions League - and that was one reason behind the previously unwavering support for Moyes - but a very dim view would be taken of any additional negative impact on commercial revenue.
Louis van Gaal would be interested in a summer move to Old Trafford, according to sources, and the Dutch coach is a little less wedded to the idea of joining Tottenham than he was a few weeks ago.
Spurs had felt that Van Gaal's appointment after the World Cup was a virtual certainty.