• Premier League

Ancelotti shock at Moyes sacking

ESPN staff
April 22, 2014
David Moyes sacked by Manchester United

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has admitted he was shocked to see Manchester United sack David Moyes less than 12 months into his six-year contract.

Moyes lasted just 348 days at United - compared the the 27 years his predecessor Sir Alex Ferguson spent at Old Trafford - having overseen the club's slump from being champions last year to currently occupying seventh place this season.

Ancelotti has been mentioned in some circles as a potential permanent replacement for Moyes, following the appointment of Ryan Giggs as interim manager.

"I am sorry for David Moyes. In general this is the life of a coach," said Ancelotti, speaking at a press conference ahead of Wednesday's Champions League semi-final first leg between Real and Bayern Munich. "Sometimes things don't come out well and they get rid of you and that's it.

"I was a bit surprised because Manchester United are not normally like this. It might be normal in another club but at United after 26 years I was surprised."

No United manager had vacated his post as quickly as Moyes in 82 years, with the Scot lasting just 49 matches.

Excluding Sir Matt Busby's caretaker spell at the helm in 1970-71, Moyes' time was the shortest since Walter Crickmer's 43-game reign in 1931-32.

But as secretary-manager Crickmer returned for a further eight years in charge, only Clarence Hilditch, who oversaw 33 games in a six-month tenure in 1926-27, has spent a shorter time in charge of United.

Moyes nevertheless had the second highest win percentage of any United manager in history - 55.1 percent, topped only by Ferguson - but his reign was notable for many historic firsts.

Sunday's 2-0 defeat at Goodison Park meant that Everton, Liverpool and Manchester City all recorded home and away league wins over United in the same season for the first time ever.

Besides meaning United took zero points from a possible 18 against their three principal north-west rivals, it ensured they only had seven from a possible 39 against the rest of the top eight.

The loss at Everton made it mathematically impossible for United to finish in the top four and they are certain to end in their lowest league position since 1991, when they came sixth.

Moyes' reign also included United's first ever defeat at home to Swansea and their maiden defeat to Greek opposition, Olympiakos.

In addition, Everton won at Old Trafford for the first time since 1992, West Bromwich Albion for the first time since 1978 and Newcastle for the first time since 1972 while Stoke, in defeating United at the Britannia Stadium, beat them for the first time since 1984.

In addition, United lost their two Manchester derbies by an aggregate score of 7-1, their joint heaviest ever margin of league defeats to Manchester City in a season, and equalled their heaviest home league defeat to Liverpool.

They set other Premier League records by conceding three penalties at home to Liverpool and delivering 82 crosses in February's 2-2 draw with Fulham.

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