Five David Moyes mistakes that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been forced to fix at Man United

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will go head-to-head with David Moyes twice in four days over the coming week as Manchester United prepare for a double-header with West Ham.

United travel to east London to face the Hammers on Sunday in the Premier League before hosting the same side at Old Trafford on Wednesday in the Carabao Cup third round.

It is one of those quirks which the fixture list occasionally throws up – but at least this one should provide two interesting matches.

The matches will also see United’s current manager go up against one of his predecessors.

Moyes only lasted one season in the Old Trafford hot seat, but his spell in charge still had a lasting impact on the club.

Having arrived as “The Chosen One” to replace Sir Alex Ferguson after his retirement in 2013, Moyes certainly had a difficult act to follow.

It did not go to plan. While he began by winning the Community Shield, that was not a sign of things to come: he was sacked after just 10 months with United seventh in the Premier League.

Moyes’ spell in charge is not remembered fondly at the club, but his failings did at least give those that followed him something to learn from.

Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho both won trophies during their stints in charge, yet it took until Solskjaer was appointed in December 2018 for the club to find some sort of stability, even if they are still some way of bringing back the glory days of Ferguson.

Here are five things Solskjaer has been forced to fix from Moyes’ time in charge.

Keeping the fans on side

United supporters were initially onboard with Moyes’ arrival from Everton in the summer of 2013, because he had come personally recommended by the club’s greatest manager of all time.

All the initial noises were positive, if slightly apprehensive, as a new era began at Old Trafford.

It didn’t take long for that pervasive feeling of good will to wane, though, as Moyes’ brand of football, manner of speaking and results took the sheen off the situation.

Having held up a banner with his “Chosen One” moniker early on, United fans publicly called for his sacking in March, organising a banner with “Wrong One – Moyes Out” to be flown past the stadium.

Solskjaer may be yet to win a trophy, but he at least has the majority of the supporters behind him.

Defeatist attitude

One of the reasons Moyes was not popular was the way he spoke during press conferences. United fans were used to bravado and a win-at-all-costs attitude and that was not Moyes’ way.

The Scot referred to rivals Liverpool as the “favourites” ahead of their trip to Old Trafford and said Manchester City were “at the sort of level we are aspiring to”.

That is not a good way to endear yourself to fans.

Solskjaer may be a mild-mannered Norwegian with a softly-spoken voice, but he does at least understand the expectations of the job.

Exciting brand of football

Moyes was a hugely successful manager at Everton, where he oversaw a consistent period of Premier League finishes.

But his pragmatic approach to football was not a great fit for United, who were used to blood and thunder, flying wingers, box-to-box midfielders and dominating matches.

Moyes simply carried over his methods from Everton and failed to adapt them properly when it was clear they were not up to scratch.

While the defending has often been criticised and United can be too open at times, Solskjaer has at least ensured excitement.

Ambitious transfers

One of the sticks frequently used to beat Moyes was his lack of imagination and ambition in the transfer window.

When United made a poor start to the 2013/14 season, Moyes turned to what he knew, signing Marouane Fellaini for £27.5million from Everton on transfer deadline day.

Fellaini was not the sort of addition United fans were after – and a failed move for Everton left-back Leighton Baines would have been unlikely to change their opinions.

Juan Mata was signed in January for a club-record fee of £37m, but it was too little too late.

This summer under Solskjaer could hardly be much different, with Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane three of the highest profile transfers anywhere in the world.

Man United ethos

As a former player, Solskjaer, it is often said, “just gets it”. He is established in United folklore and has done his best since his arrival at the end of 2018 to tap into the club’s backlog of expertise.

He has Michael Carrick and Mike Phelan as his assistants and Darren Fletcher as technical director, as well as others behind the scenes with strong links to the club.

When he arrived in the summer of 2013, Moyes brought with him many of his staff from Everton. Ferguson’s right-hand men Phelan, Rene Meulensteen and goalkeeping coach Eric Steele all left their positions.

Ryan Giggs and Phil Neville were appointed as coaches, but Moyes’ staffing choices heightened the perception of him as an outsider.