Half of hard-core Manchester United fans think David Moyes should be sacked at the end of the season if he does not show signs of progress, a new poll by fanzine Red Issue has revealed.
The results, in stark contrast to a survey in early January, indicate the League Cup elimination to Sunderland and subsequent poor results against Stoke City and Fulham have significantly eroded confidence in Alex Ferguson’s successor — even among those who previously backed the club’s long-term stance.
Most pointedly, the poll shows a 22 percentage-point swing against Moyes within a month.
As it stands, however, a slight majority still back him long-term.
The deeper concern for Moyes is the number of fans in the uncertain middle camp who are starting to turn against him.
The numbers show there remain a considerable number between those loyalists who staunchly insist United maintain their policy of giving managers proper time, and those who just don’t feel Moyes is up to the job.
That all only increases the importance of tonight’s match at Arsenal and the Champions League campaign. Any more failure, and particularly European elimination to Olympiakos, could definitively turn what has been a patient group of fans against the Scot.
Red Issue — which is one of the most influential and longest-running United fanzines — first conducted the poll among a sample panel of 300 voters over January 6-8, just after the club’s FA Cup defeat to Swansea City.
The survey was repeated between February 9 and 11, asking the exact same group the same question: “how long should Moyes get to show some progress?”
Most tellingly, there has been hugely significant fall in those willing to give him an extra season.
In January, that number stood at 73%. Now, it is 51%.
That has translated into 32% of fans wanting him gone by the end of the season — up from 20% in January.
More damningly, almost a fifth — 17% — want Moyes sacked now. In January that stood at just 7%.
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