As Moyes is sacked, Man Utd fans find their voice
ONE man's sacking is another person's treat.
As Manchester United axed its manager David Moyes yesterday, the club's fans in Singapore were largely ecstatic, with some even in a mood to party.
Moyes, who was appointed to succeed long-term boss Alex Ferguson in July last year, was shown the door by the English champions yesterday while player-coach Ryan Giggs was named interim manager.
The club's Singapore fans, so used to watching their club win trophies, have been left shell-shocked this year as the team tumbled down the table and the new manager introduced a brand of football that they found dull as well as toothless.
Under Moyes, who was previously the manager of Everton for 11 years, United have posted their worst Premier League results ever and will miss out on the elite Champions League for the first time in 18 years.
"But his sacking makes me happier than winning the Champions League," said media professional K. Rohan, 27. "It's like a nightmare has ended."
Manchester United is one of the best- supported clubs in Singapore, with one in five people living here labelled as its fans.
One avid supporter, Lenny Lim, 30, an account director at Crowd, plans to host a party for his friends this weekend. "Moyes' record was woeful and pathetic, even though it was a transition period for the club," he said.
Mr Lim's sister, Merliza, an equally devoted United fan, chipped in: "Once I heard the news, I celebrated by treating my colleagues to dessert!"
The 28-year-old account director, who had stopped watching the club's games of late, will be glued to the TV again.
But Mr Ken Lai, the chairman of the Manchester United Supporters Club of Singapore, is "neither happy nor sad".
"Moyes' appointment has split the supporters into two, even locally," he said. "I hope that after this (the sacking of Moyes), we will be able to put it behind us and stand behind any manager that the board chooses."
The post on Manchester United's official Facebook page announcing the ouster of Moyes has already garnered almost 100,000 likes.
Netizen Christopher Igweh felt it was ridiculous to cite the example of Ferguson to suggest that Moyes should have been given more time. "He inherited champions," he said. In contrast, Ferguson had inherited a team that was "fighting for (their) survival".
Others poked fun at Moyes by citing his words in 2002, when he had said he would make Everton a better team than United. This was followed by a picture of him in 2014 with the words: "Job done."
Another showed a doctored picture of Ferguson holding a banner saying: "Moyes Out".
A third was a poster of Moyes with the words: "Eat, sleep, lose. Repeat."
But the Manchester United Supporters' Trust blamed the management as well. "The story (of Moyes' ouster) leaked before David Moyes had been spoken to, and that's not the Manchester United way," it said.
"There was no dignity or class in the way they went about it."
Meanwhile, fans of United's bitter rivals, Liverpool, are amused.
"It pains us to see any manager lose his job, but in Moyes' case especially, we hope that he could have been given more time," said Mr Jerome Huang, a sales and marketing professional in his 30s. He has enjoyed watching Moyes drag United down.