As far as experiments go, Manchester United's decision to appoint David Moyes last summer was as close to an unmitigated disaster as it gets. In fact, by the time Moyes was unceremoniously relieved of his duties, things had gone beyond the point of no return and drastic action was required.
Away from heat maps and statistics recording pass completion rates, football remains an extremely simple game.
David Moyes: Portrait of a Scapegoat - originally posted on Soccerlens.com
When the news was confirmed early on Tuesday morning that Manchester United boss David Moyes had been sacked, it sadly came as no surprise as the writing had been on the wall for a while. The champions had 27 fewer points than they did after 35 games last season.
Manchester United have completed their final training session before tomorrow's game against Bayern Munich. As we reported earlier, Wayne Rooney, Jonny Evans, Patrice Evra and Ashley Young all took part.
Earthquakes. They are incredibly powerful and in many cases devastating. They tear apart streets, they knock down buildings, and, most impressive, they can on occasion cause Lionheart English international Ashley Young to fall to the ground.
Here are ten images of the devastating might of earthquakes as they toy with Ashley Young's legs.
Manchester United's players have been posting photos to their social media accounts during their Champions League travels. Goalkeeper David De Gea posed for a photo with Javier Hernandez and wrote: "Champions League time!! Let's go to Greece." Wingers Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia also uploaded a photo, with Young commenting: "On the way to Greece!
The R'n'B fans among Manchester United's squad 'got lucky' last night when they bumped into Pharrell Williams at their team hotel. Staying in London ahead of this evening's game against Crystal Palace, United duo Danny Welbeck and Ashley Young posed for a photo with the N.E.R.D. frontman. Williams' pink ten-gallon hat stole the show some [.
Manchester United's record signing Juan Mata enjoyed a winning debut as his new club recorded a 2-0 victory at home to Cardiff City in the Premier League.
Leaders Arsenal, meanwhile, blew an opportunity to move four points clear after drawing 2-2 at Southampton, but Liverpool tightened their grip on fourth place with a superb 4-0 defeat of local rivals Everton.
Juan Mata made his Manchester United debut tonight as Ole Gunnar Solksjaer returned to Old Trafford for the first time as the Opposition.
However it was Ashley Young who stole the show, first setting up Robin Van Persie for the opener and then grabbing one himself just when United looked vulnerable at the back as United beat Cardiff 2-0 at Old Trafford tonight.
30If you are part of the ABU brigade, that headline has to make you laugh. For years Man United opponents have said that referee Howard Webb favored Sir Alex Ferguson and United in the big games. So there is some irony them that in Webb's first game at Old Trafford in the David Moyes era that Moyes branded Webb's decision not to award a penalty and send Hugo Lloris off for a challenge on Ashley Young during Tottenham's 2-1 win over Manchester United as "scandalous".
David Moyes and Manchester United got the 2014 off to the worst possible starts, slumping to yet another home defeat as Spurs won at Old Trafford for the second consecutive year, leaving them 11 points behind league leaders Arsenal.
Despite a poor first half performance, United rallied when they found themselves 2-0 down but could not complete another comeback thanks, according to Moyes, to Howard Webb's "scandalous decision" not to award a penalty when Ashley Young was clattered by Hugo Lloris with three minutes remaining.
Manchester United have been getting into the festive spirit with a Christmas challenge at their training ground. Ashley Young, Anderson and Kiko Macheda took part in the challenge. They went up against former players Quinton Fortune, David May and Mickey Thomas, as well as a team comprising head of fitness and conditioning Tony Strudwick, fitness [.
Ashley Young has admitted that he's well aware of having matured a reputation for diving but, while he understands the criticism, he has no intention to apologise for the controversial incidents that have seen him thrust under the spotlight this season.
The United winger came under intense scrutiny earlier this season as he was booked for diving against Crystal Palace, before subsequently winning an extremely soft penalty asKagisho Dikgacoi, while another of Young's theatrical tumbles earned United an extremely dubious penalty kick away at Real Sociedad.
Much of the frustration and analysis of casual observers regarding Manchester United's dip in form this season has been around new manager David Moyes. But the analysis has failed to recognize the slip in competitive position in the transfer market inflicted by the club's American owners.
The Red Devils commercial revenues worldwide are roughly similar to Barcelona or Bayern Munich, but both of those clubs have twice or three times the spending power of United currently.
Nani has spoken out in favour of David Moyes, claiming he's received a much-needed confidence boost since the Scotsman replaced Sir Alex Ferguson in July.
Timely though the confidence boost might have been, United are still to reap the benefits, with Nani starting only five Premier League games this season and, much like fellow wingers Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young, failing to impress this season.
Manchester United are no longer mid-table, we're no longer enduring the worst start in our Premier League history, we're very much still in the title race. All of which leaves one important question: who are we going to demonise this week? It can't be David Moyes, after all we're winning, it can't be Nani or Danny Welbeck, they haven't been playing.
In recent seasons Ashley Young has gained a bit of a reputation as something of a diver. This began at Aston Villa and has gained increased attention since he joined Manchester United, partly because of the club's profile and particularly because he was criticised by David Moyes after his plunge against Crystal Palace earlier this season.
This is one of many posters denouncing that terrible act that is too often encountered in football, diving. Here, Ashley Young, a player for Manchester United is shown in a parody of Bruce Willis's Die Hard in Dive Hard 2. Iain Mcintosh of ESPN Soccernet addressed the prevalence of diving in soccer today with this great piece.
Manchester United's Ashley Young Dives Into Familiar Storm - originally posted on Soccerlens.com
Manchester United's 0-0 Champions League stalemate with Real Sociedad on Tuesday heralded a few unpleasantfirsts for the club. It was midfielder Fellaini's first red card for the Red Devils, and it was also Robin van Persie's first penalty spot miss this season.
David Moyes has refused to criticise Ashley Young after the United winger appeared yet again to dive in order to win a penalty last night against Real Sociedad, as United squandered three good opportunities to take a decisive step towards qualification in Group A.
In his latest attempt to usurp Tom Daley's spot in Britain's diving team, Young went to ground with customary ease five minutes after coming a substitute, when Sociedad defender Markel Bergara appeared to slightly pull his shirt after Young had played a quick one-two with Shinji Kagawa just inside the box.
David Moyes and his Manchester United side were unable to score on the road against Spanish side Real Sociedad on Tuesday evening. Though the English side did have chances, the match resulted in a 0-0 draw, which saw both sides earn a point.
Chicharito Hernandez really should have scored after Shinji Kagawa played him in at the back post early in the second half, and Robin van Persie had the chance to put the Red Devils ahead in the 70th minute after Ashley Young earned his side a penalty.
Oops, he did it again. Manchester United's Ashley Young blatantly dove on Tuesday evening in Spain as the Red Devils took on Real Sociedad in the Champions League. In the 69th minute of play, Young looked to receive the ball back after a quick one-two in the box around the Sociedad defense but never quite made it to the ball.
Juventus forward Mirko Vucinic had been linked with moves to either Manchester United and Tottenham this summer and his potential change was fueled more heavily by the recruitment of Carlos Tevez and Fernando Llorente to the Turin side.
However, he remained with the Italian champions despite fears that he could lose his place in the first team in hopes that he could earn his keep.
England manager Roy Hodgson says he hasn't dropped Ashley Young the Manchester United winger has merely fallen out of his squad. Young has been under fierce criticism from inside and outside Old Trafford for his recent performances for David Moyes' side, and Hodgson appears to subscribe to that view.
Manchester City thrashed rivals Manchester United at the Ethiad Stadium.
David Moyes made two changes to the side that defeated Bayer Leverkusen midweek. Danny Welbeck led the line in a 4-4-1-1 with Wayne Rooney positioned behind him. Ashley Young was also included in the starting eleven, pushing Shinji Kagawa to the bench.
Samuel Eto'o's hat-trick helped Chelsea beat Manchester United 3-1 win at Stamford Bridge on Sunday a result that left Jose Mourinho's side within two points of leaders Arsenal. But the defeat means title-holders United are now 14 points behind the Gunners with 16 league games of the season remaining.
Having started 2014 in terrible fashion with consecutive home defeats against Spurs and Swansea, United travel to Sunderland tonight hoping to take another step towards the Capital One Cup final, at the moment the Reds' most realistic chance of silverware in this disgraced season.
Sunday's showing in the FA Cup was nothing short of embarrassing something we've become somewhat accustomed to in the first six months of the campaign and United must improve, if they're to secure a positive result against a side that might be bottom of the table, but will undoubtedly be fired up for the occasion.
As the Moyes regime begins to take shape, it is a time for United fans to reminisce and remember the good times. Now, we all know the title race isn't over and a new manager needs time to settle, but the retirement of Fergie himself was the final stage of the clubs transition; one that has seen the club regress.
It's the cup no one cares about, and the trophy nobody dreams to win at the start of the season. It's also the tournament in which, until a few years ago, Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic would have been rested, rather than summoned for a mundane fourth round. It might also be the trophy that provides David Moyes with a much-needed confidence boost.
1. West Brom was a must win and we lost it. "Must win" doesn't really do justice to just how important it was to beat Sunderland yesterday. Having gone a goal down so early on, you had to fear that things were about to go from bad to worse for United. Sunderland, the worst performing team in the Premier League this season, were all over us in the first half, massively raising their game, but we were unable to counteract that.
Pictures appeared in the press last week showing Danny Welbeck, Tom Cleverley and Ashley Young going out in town after the defeat against Bayern Munich. They were out until the early hours and were seen dancing in the street and chatting up girls.
Reports in the press have today claimed that Moyes has fined the players for this.
At this point, most top flight footballers would've figured out close your ears, Ashley Young they can't get away with horrible dives because there's a camera covering every inch of the big stadiums but for the restrooms. Even then, one gets the feeling there's a pervert or two among club owners. At the lower level, however, one might be able to get with it.
Play-acting, simulation, or diving is usually frowned upon in England. Even top-quality internationals like Gareth Bale and Ashley Young have been criticised for simulation, but the same does not apply in mainland Europe and indeed in many parts of the world. This is certainly different in Spain, although the reaction to it certainly appears to be changing.