I wonder how David Moyes feels about working with a vast sum of transfer funds and outrageous expectations now?
Forever working in the shadows of their close neighbor and other league rivals, the former Everton manager seemed to do wonders within the notoriously-restricted transfer budgets given to him by chairman Bill Kenwright. Reportedly only spending big once, a tidy £15 million sum to Standard Liege for Marouane Fellaini in 2008, Moyes instead swept up cheap continental signings and loans that more times than not worked out for the better thanks to astute scouting and failing to deviate from his training, coaching and tactics. His Everton teams were strong, efficient and, given the league environment and his competition, successful.
Now that he's taken over from Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, a dream job for many but a worrying proposition given the circumstances of the man being replaced and their city rival aiming to supplant their stranglehold of regional and national dominance, Moyes has seen that maybe things weren't so bad when he was trying to make a dollar out of fifteen cents at his old spot. Flush with cash and wanting to spend like a newfound lotto winner, Moyes quickly went to work to find the perfect midfielder able to provide a certain someone who'll go unmentioned with the perfect service in which to score goal-after-goal.
He attempted to woo Thiago Alcantara, Cesc Fabregas, Sami Khedira and Ander Herrera - all either deciding to go elsewhere or stay at their respective clubs. Meanwhile, Arsenal managed to land Mesut Özil on the last day of the transfer window; a player who, based on Moyes' previous targets, would have been the perfect midfielder for their objectives both this season and in the long-term.
Many would argue, rightfully so in most cases, that Özil is better than all those mentioned above. However, here's Telegraph's Henry Winter last month, more than likely working as a mouthpiece for the club in an attempt to do damage control to ward off the supporters angry about how their summer went, talking down the impact Özil would have made at United:
Four weeks ago, United were also offered Mesut Özil for substantially less than the £42.4 million for which he eventually went to Arsenal on transfer deadline day.
United liked Özil but declined the chance to pursue him again because of this belief in Rooney as their tempo-setting No 10. They also consider Shinji Kagawa an option as a creative force behind (redacted).
Shinji Kagawa, they say? He of three appearances, in all competitions, in a United shirt this season? Rumored to be going back to Dortmund in a couple months thanks to getting shunned by David Moyes? An option as a creative force behind whatshisface?
Sure, Rooney's good when he's not morphing into The Incredible Hulk and smashing things (or, you know, when he's being played in his preferred and natural position, which is not in the midfield behind the Dutch Skunk). But to say the reason he didn't move to Chelsea was that he's the perfect no. 10 for their system, perfect enough for United to be offered less money for Özil than what Arsenal eventually bought him for and turning the deal down, though, is cringe-worthy at minimum and pooping-in-the-pants hilarious at best.
All of that seemed as believable as a pack of murderous unicorns descending upon our villages and cities to achieve global dominance. It was simply a matter of time before something came out to contradict that nonsense.
That time, apparently, is today. Here's Mike Keegan from the Manchester Evening News on what really went down at Carrington in regards to Mesut Özil:
Manchester United failed in a last-minute bid to hijack Arsenal's deal for midfield maestro Mesut Ozil.
The German international moved to the Gunners from Real Madrid for a club-record £42.4m fee on deadline day. United admitted that they were interested in the 24-year-old playmaker, who has got off to a flying start at the Emirates, earlier in the summer.
But M.E.N. Sport has learned the Reds attempted to contact Ozil's agent hours before he completed the move only to be told he had already made his mind up.
United have denied this was the case but a source close to both sides said: "United made a call. Kenny Moyes, David's brother who is an agent, was trying desperately to get hold of Ozil's agent. I think that by the time they managed it it was too late."
I feel bad for David Moyes, actually. He seems like a great dude and a decent coach. In the meantime, though, it's nice to be on the other side, smiling at another club's misfortunes in the transfer market.
So don't mind us, United. We'll just be over here enjoying Mesut Özil as our number 10. I'm sure you'll find Wayne Rooney to be just as good (suppressing laughter), maybe better (LOL), than ours.