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Moyes sacked as Man United manager
Michael Lynch reflects on David Moyes' disappointing season at Manchester United and the games that sealed his fate.
United sacked Moyes just 10 months after he succeeded Alex Ferguson at the helm of one of the world's most famous clubs.
‘‘Following the departure of David Moyes as manager, Manchester United has announced that Ryan Giggs, the club’s most decorated player, will assume responsibility for the first team until a permanent appointment can be made,’’ read a statement published on the United website on Tuesday.
‘‘The club will make no further comment on this process until it is concluded.’’
Giggs, 40, made his United debut in March 1991 and has made a record 962 appearances for the club, winning 13 Premier League titles, two Champions Leagues, four FA Cups, four League Cups and one FIFA Club World Cup.
He has no previous managerial experience but has combined his role as a player with a position on United’s coaching staff since the start of the current campaign.
After a day of speculation in the British media, the Premier League giants on Tuesday confirmed the Scot's departure in a brief statement on their Twitter account.
"Manchester United announces that David Moyes has left the club," United said.
"The club would like to place on record its thanks for the hard work, honesty and integrity he brought to the role."
Rumours of Moyes's imminent departure began to swirl on Monday, with the club refusing to comment when asked if he was facing the sack.
British newspaper reports on Tuesday said Moyes had been informed of his fate during an early-morning meeting with chief executive Ed Woodward at the club's Carrington training ground.
United host Norwich City on Saturday in the first of their four remaining league games this season.
Louis van Gaal, the current Netherlands coach, has been installed as the favourite to succeed Moyes on a permanent basis by British bookmakers, with Jurgen Klopp of Borussia Dortmund another rumoured contender.
Ferguson, British football's most successful manager, personally hand-picked Moyes to succeed him after announcing his retirement last May following 26 and a half trophy-studded years at Old Trafford.
Moyes inherited a team that had romped to the Premier League title - United's 20th English league crown - by 11 points, but he endured a torrid debut campaign.
United have slumped to seventh place in the league table and been eliminated from both domestic cup competitions and the Champions League.
Moyes's last game in charge was a 2-0 loss at his former club Everton, which confirmed that United will not compete in the Champions League next season for the first time since 1995.
The defeat, United's 11th of the league campaign, left the defending champions 13 points below the Champions League places and 23 points behind leaders Liverpool.
They face a struggle even to qualify for the second-tier Europa League, lying six points below sixth-place Tottenham Hotspur with four matches to play.
Of their league defeats, six have come at home, and there have been demoralising home-and-away losses to arch rivals Liverpool and Manchester City, as well as Everton.
Moyes's transfer dealings proved equally disappointing, with STG27.5 million ($A49.82 million) midfielder Marouane Fellaini, signed from Everton, and STG37.1 million record signing Juan Mata, who arrived from Chelsea in January, struggling to make an impact.
As a result, United's American owners, the Glazer family, reportedly felt uneasy about the prospect of handing him the funds needed to rebuild the squad during the forthcoming close season.