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After browsing around the media bandwagon, a few points that can be open to discussion:

1) Is a bite worse than a leg breaking/career ending tackle? These are worth just 3 game bans and in my opinion are much worse, so I don't get the calls for say an 8 match ban. Sure biting is disgusting and completely weird, but punished more severely than say a potential leg breaker?

2) Would there be as much uproar about a bite if this was done by someone in the Blue Square North?

I get point 1, but to be fair you are a liverpool fan salkster. It always fascinates me how football fans judge an incident differently dependent on who the guy plays for. Chelsea fans will forgive Terry, Cole etc, Liverpool with Suarez/Evra, way back Utd fans the Cantona incident or take your pick of when Keane lost it a couple of times.

I get you on the media bandwagon fluff as well. It's just shock horror outrage. OTT.

To me what he did was just bizarre; that madness/genius gene playing up though. No real harm done though, so peeps should just calm down. I love watching Suarez, he's as good as anyone in the world Messi/Ronaldo apart. I hope we don't hound him out of England like they did Cantona eventually.

Can't stand Chelsea, but kudos respect to Ivanovic and Chelsea FC for not going nuts over it. Whether that's because they have their own nutters or history of bizarre actions who knows :D , but fair one.

Suarez will get hammered suspension wise (rightly so), but the more you see the incident the more I agree with you; it's no worse than an elbow say, just way way more bizarre. Hope he doesn't get too hammered and takes some sort of anger management training though. He just seems like a guy who will do literally anything to win, for better and worse.

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After browsing around the media bandwagon, a few points that can be open to discussion:

1) Is a bite worse than a leg breaking/career ending tackle? These are worth just 3 game bans and in my opinion are much worse, so I don't get the calls for say an 8 match ban. Sure biting is disgusting and completely weird, but punished more severely than say a potential leg breaker?

As gav pointed out, using your feet is a big part of football, using you mouth is not. A lot of the time career ending challenges are accidents - Suarez biting somebody is no accident.

2) Would there be as much uproar about a bite if this was done by someone in the Blue Square North?

Of course not, but such is football. If 2 goals of exactly the same quality are scored and one is scored by a premier league player and the other by a non league player, which gets more coverage? I'm sorry salks but I only see 2 pretty poor points there. Suarez isn't being victimised. He's a fantastic player and its a shame that he did what he did.

One thing I will agree with though is that he shouldn't be chased out of the league or anything like that. The media will of course brandish him as some kind of insane cannibal but that's what they do. I mean, remember a few months ago when Eden Hazard was the infamous child-beater?

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If I was the FA I'd be telling David Cameron to go and mind his own business, or better still go and run the country in a way that doesn't involve a triple dip recession or us losing all our jobs.

See http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2013/apr/22/luis-suarez-charged-biting-ivanovic for details of what has got my goat this morning.

On other points covered here. The FA has charged Suarez with violent conduct, which to me is the obviously correct thing to do, they also say they think the usual three match ban for such conduct missed by the match officials is not enough in this case. Fair enough again. It's true that the Dutch FA banned him for 7 matches for another biting incident, and I see the point about needing to increase the penalty for a second offence, but the FA has the potential to look very stupid on this, and i'll explain why...

- Joey Barton holds the current record for length of ban by the English FA (in terms of violent conduct in matches, Cantona's 9 months for jumping into the crowd is not an in-match incident as such), 12 games for elbowing Carlos Tevez, then attempting to knee Sergio Aguero and headbutt Vincent Kompany in the fracas after his initial offence. Essentially three in one violent conduct charges taken into consideration for that.

- Paulo Di Canio got 11 matches for pushing the referee Paul Alcock to the ground whilst playing for Sheff Weds against Arsenal.

- Kevin Keegan and Billy Bremner were given 10 games each for fighting in the Charity Shield match

- Paul Davies of Arsenal was given a 9 match ban for breaking Glenn Cockerel's jaw with a punch.

-Luis Suarez got an 8 match ban for the racial abuse of Patrice Evra.

-Ben Thatcher was banned for 8 matches for an elbow on Portsmouth's Pedro Mendez which knocked him out and caused him to have a seizure.

So, in the scale of FA Punishment where should Suarez go this time ? Is biting worse than racism ? do the FA really want to be saying that ? I'm not trying to get into whether 8 matches was the right length of ban for racial abuse, I don't, in retrospect, think it was. But that is the ban that was given out for that problem, so the FA will be judged against that benchmark. I do hope the FA don't send out that message, that wouldn't be the right thing to do.

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As gav pointed out, using your feet is a big part of football, using you mouth is not. A lot of the time career ending challenges are accidents - Suarez biting somebody is no accident.

Tell that to Roy Keane and in another sport Mike Tyson. Those examples are pre-meditated actions which quite rightly deserve lengthy bans. Did Suarez plan this? Only he can answer that but he does seem genuinely sorry about it. That of course doesn't make it right but a ban as lengthy as some of the examples that cf2 has mentioned just seems wrong to me. Of course that maybe down to me being a Liverpool fan, but I just don't see the logic in it. Not so long ago Callum Mcmanaman of Wigan did not get punished for a very dangerous tackle that caused a severe injury. That is more down to the FA's silly rules but even if they did punish him it would have just been 3 matches. Should a silly bite that has caused no harm be treated more harshly than a tackle that has caused a severe injury?

Of course not, but such is football. If 2 goals of exactly the same quality are scored and one is scored by a premier league player and the other by a non league player, which gets more coverage? I'm sorry salks but I only see 2 pretty poor points there. Suarez isn't being victimised. He's a fantastic player and its a shame that he did what he did.

One thing I will agree with though is that he shouldn't be chased out of the league or anything like that. The media will of course brandish him as some kind of insane cannibal but that's what they do. I mean, remember a few months ago when Eden Hazard was the infamous child-beater?

My point being if this wasn't Suarez would you be calling for a ban as such as 10 matches like 10-3 says if this was a non-league player? I think the media and the watching audience have jumped the gun rather quickly simply because it is Suarez and his past incidents. Like the Hazard incident every incident in football gets treated like a soap opera. If Hazard kicked a ball boy again would you then expect say a 5 match ban because he has previous?

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After browsing around the media bandwagon, a few points that can be open to discussion:

1) Is a bite worse than a leg breaking/career ending tackle? These are worth just 3 game bans and in my opinion are much worse, so I don't get the calls for say an 8 match ban. Sure biting is disgusting and completely weird, but punished more severely than say a potential leg breaker?

2) Would there be as much uproar about a bite if this was done by someone in the Blue Square North?

I have to agree with the majority opinion here. Honestly, there is no defending Suarez here. What you say is true, in that there is no real lasting damage done from biting someone (although what if he drew blood, would that change the analysis? Honestly I don't think it should) compared to a leg-breaker tackle. But as others have pointed out, the leg-breaking sometimes happens as a genuine accident because the tackles are essentially a part of the game. There's absolutely no place for biting in football. Zero.

I think chester articulated the big issue with this. Most of us learn that biting people is not acceptable behaviour when we are children. It's the behaviour of, honestly, someone who at best doesn't have a great deal of emotional maturity and at worst is a complete animal. If anything, it shows an immense deal about Suarez as a person, especially given he has bitten an opposition player before. I actually feel this should be the signal for Liverpool to get Suarez proper professional help, to my mind he clearly needs it. If he can't deal with aggression and tension on the pitch without resorting to extremely petulant outbursts such as biting someone, he has serious issues and should be helped if he wants to keep his career as a professional footballer.

I will say though, I've long believed the leg-breaker challenges should be hit by much more than a 3-match ban, so in that sense, yes I agree that a longer ban for Suarez would seem unbalanced, but that unbalance exists to my mind not because Suarez recieved a punishment he didn't deserve, but rather the punishment for leg-breakers is way too low.

Regarding your second point: while obviously there would not be as much media focus (or interest from politicians) if the bite was done in the Blue Square North, but if it involved me or someone from my team/club, I sure as heck would make just as big a deal about it. I would at a minimum want the opposition player banned/punished severely. The reason is as above, biting an opposition player shows an extreme lack of emotional maturity. I don't want such people anywhere near me or my teammates/players if they can't control themselves to the extent they go around biting others as if they are some kind of animal.

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Like the Hazard incident every incident in football gets treated like a soap opera. If Hazard kicked a ball boy again would you then expect say a 5 match ban because he has previous?

My personal opinion on this is that yes, he should get a greater ban for an offence for which he has previous! It's the way our legal systems work in general, and it is another element of the Tribunal system in the AFL that I am a fan of. They have a point system that carries over, so that people who are constantly getting into trouble - particularly in a short period of time - will get increasingly large bans. It encourages players to stay good for extended periods of time if they do get slapped with something.

To take it further: in our legal system, if you rob someone once, you'll likely get a rap over the knuckles, especially if you argue that you only did it out of hardship or extreme duress. The court/magistrate will likely go "okay, fair enough, we'll let you off". If you then turn up before them having robbed someone a second time, guess what, the punishment tends to be more severe, even if you run the same arguments, because this time the court/magistrate goes "well hang on, you said last time was a once-off due to extenuating circumstances, what's your excuse this time?". Consider then you come back before them for robbing someone a third time. This time, the court will likely throw the book at you, going "this is the third strike, clearly your robbing people is less about external circumstances and more about the fact you are the type that robs people".

This is an entirely appropriate way to deal with someone, escalating punishments for similar offences recognises that initially people can have a brain-snap or extenuating circumstances mean they act out of character, so an initial offence should not be treated too harshly. However, repeated occurances of the same offence suggests a pattern of behaviour that should be addressed, with increased punishment acting as a level of deterrent. It does work (to a degree, obviously not perfect) and it strikes a reasonable balance in terms of fairness as well to my mind. I see no reason why this kind of mentality cannot be applied to football discipline, it might actually encourage changed behaviour in serial offenders (not just Suarez).

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This is a very good piece written by a Tottenham blogger about this Suarez situation and footballing villains in general. It also explains why I've tried to be careful not to label Suarez - how could I possibly do that knowing that the captain of my football team may have racially abused another player last year?

http://www.cartilagefreecaptain.com/2013/4/22/4251988/luis-suarez

I met John Terry yesterday by the way. As I pointed out on Facebook, he didn't spit at me, try to sleep with my girlfriend or racially abuse me, so all in all it was a pretty decent encounter and both he and his family seemed quite polite when I spoke to them.

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With regard to cf's point about biting being worse than racism, I would point out that there is recidivism in the second biting incident and there has not been (thankfully) with the racism incident.

Using his Ajax punishment as a benchmark, the penalty is racism eight matches, biting (which is considered a form of assault in some places) seven matches. Both serious, but arguably in proper perspective. Therefore a larger ban for a second offense for biting is warranted, justifiable and even explainable.

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This is a very good piece written by a Tottenham blogger about this Suarez situation and footballing villains in general. It also explains why I've tried to be careful not to label Suarez - how could I possibly do that knowing that the captain of my football team may have racially abused another player last year?

http://www.cartilagefreecaptain.com/...88/luis-suarez

Just read the above article, superbly written piece

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Seems a little harsh.

5 games + 5 games suspended for 2 seasons (to be triggered on next straight red) would be fair. Taking 'previous' in to account always seemed to be dodgy to me. Like being tried for the same offence twice, when if you've served your punishment then it should be punishment served, endex and just that.

But can see the argument against; just not one I agree with.

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Well in the end he's been hit with a fairly big ban. Given his previous offence was a 7-match ban in the Netherlands it was always going to be hard to justify a smaller punishment for a second offence. Hopefully this will be the end of the matter, ultimately he has no one to blame for this but himself. I still stand by my earlier comments, I would suggest that this incident should signal Liverpool moving to get him some professional help, he clearly has issues if he views biting as an acceptable means of venting his frustrations.

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If I could get away with it, I'd create a mock photoshop/poster type advert with Adidas' Sponsored Athlete Suarez chomping on Ivanovic's Adidas Uniform with their latest advertising campaign slogan of "All-in"...

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If I could get away with it, I'd create a mock photoshop/poster type advert with Adidas' Sponsored Athlete Suarez chomping on Ivanovic's Adidas Uniform with their latest advertising campaign slogan of "All-in"...:applause:

I prefer the same picture with a takeoff on the MLS marketing slogan of "All Rise."

"All Incise." :p

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Where have all my fellow scousers gone to? I wonder if gav is hiding in a hole somewhere. Suarez who?

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Probably too caught up in your story... :p

Yeah that's usually the first place I go to, or Marks.

I've started playing it (FM13) again off and on as well, might write something down here soon, but its one of those games where you play, start taking notes, then keep playing because its a good game and then you get sick of taking notes, because its slowing the gameplay down!

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Yeah that's usually the first place I go to, or Marks.

I've started playing it (FM13) again off and on as well, might write something down here soon, but its one of those games where you play, start taking notes, then keep playing because its a good game and then you get sick of taking notes, because its slowing the gameplay down!

Pretty much the problem that has derailed all of my attempts to do a story on FM! I recently started playing FM11 again (the last version I bought) as I recently got more time on my hands and I have to admit I'm enjoying just playing FM again.

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Probably too caught up in your story... :p

Thanks. :) Well, I started it to get people reading and talking about something new. So far it's working. Now when we get to season two, since I've played a bit into that season already, things are going to get interesting :)

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Pretty much the problem that has derailed all of my attempts to do a story on FM! I recently started playing FM11 again (the last version I bought) as I recently got more time on my hands and I have to admit I'm enjoying just playing FM again.

Me too. Although I'm with FM12.

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So, the Championship huh. Utter nutty scenes going on there. :D

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If I were a Watford fan I'd be seeing an exorcist this morning. Just wow.

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Not just that too. Leicester began the day outside the playoffs but sneaked in at the last. And the final relegation spot was filled by three different teams throughout the day (Huddersfield, Barnsley and Peterborough) before Posh finally fell victim to that late Palace winner.

It was bloody exciting following the news trackers online. Imagine actually watching it live...

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Being a Brighton fan, but on holiday in Scotland, I missed the lot. My mate had to try and explain the events but it was lost on me once he confirmed we had crystal palace in the play-offs

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Not just that too. Leicester began the day outside the playoffs but sneaked in at the last. And the final relegation spot was filled by three different teams throughout the day (Huddersfield, Barnsley and Peterborough) before Posh finally fell victim to that late Palace winner.

It was bloody exciting following the news trackers online. Imagine actually watching it live...

Saw some of the footage of the Hull players in their dressing room watching the Watford v Leeds match on TV given the lengthy injury delay, it was hilarious. There was a player at the front (not sure who it was, I don't know Hull very well) who was chanting "Score, score, come on, score, score!" as the Leeds player broke free at the death. I imagine it would have been extremely nerve-wracking for all involved. Tough on the fans/players of the teams that ended up getting relegated as well, to go through all that stress and then have to face the reality that your team is going down... man, a kick in the teeth all right!

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BTW Balth, were you eligible to vote in the Malaysian General Elections? Things are pretty tense right now in the aftermath.

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Not just that too. Leicester began the day outside the playoffs but sneaked in at the last. And the final relegation spot was filled by three different teams throughout the day (Huddersfield, Barnsley and Peterborough) before Posh finally fell victim to that late Palace winner.

It was bloody exciting following the news trackers online. Imagine actually watching it live...

One of the better stories of the day that I saw was on Sky Sports News and was about the live commentators watching the results as they happened. Genuine excitement. That's what I think American sports are missing. The excitement, desperation, exhilaration and/or despair at promotion or relegation.

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BTW Balth, were you eligible to vote in the Malaysian General Elections? Things are pretty tense right now in the aftermath.

No, as I'm an Australian citizen now I had to relinquish my Malaysian citizenship, along with my right to vote. The continuation of BN means the continuation of institutionalised racism, discrimination, corruption and rampant cronism. It's a terrible result for Malaysia, but I'm not surprised by the result one iota. To be honest my reaction to people going "democracy in Malaysia: dead" as a result of this election has been along the lines of "democracy was never alive in Malaysia to begin with".

The one positive is that hopefully now people will finally wake up and realise what a sham the 'democracy' in Malaysia is. That said, there's no guarantee that BN actually had to mess that much with the results to get the win. The reality is that even if every ethnically Chinese person voted for the opposition, they're still the minority. There is precious little reason for an ethnic Malay to vote against BN as long as you have some kind of connection to the ruling party, as you get to benefit from their policies.

Ugh, talking about the politics in the country of my birth makes me sick...

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No, as I'm an Australian citizen now I had to relinquish my Malaysian citizenship, along with my right to vote. The continuation of BN means the continuation of institutionalised racism, discrimination, corruption and rampant cronism. It's a terrible result for Malaysia, but I'm not surprised by the result one iota. To be honest my reaction to people going "democracy in Malaysia: dead" as a result of this election has been along the lines of "democracy was never alive in Malaysia to begin with".

The one positive is that hopefully now people will finally wake up and realise what a sham the 'democracy' in Malaysia is. That said, there's no guarantee that BN actually had to mess that much with the results to get the win. The reality is that even if every ethnically Chinese person voted for the opposition, they're still the minority. There is precious little reason for an ethnic Malay to vote against BN as long as you have some kind of connection to the ruling party, as you get to benefit from their policies.

Ugh, talking about the politics in the country of my birth makes me sick...

Well, so far as I can see at least, there is a wave of change coming. Even the ethnic Malays can see how corrupt the ruling party are, and the younger urbanite voters see no loss in voting for the opposition. It's going to be a hard slog for change to come, but it will.

It's much the same in Singapore actually with our own PAP, except it feels more orderly and 'legalised'. People here (me included) are fed up of their overbearing ways, and increasingly, their incompetence and short-sightedness, as well as their all-out greed.

Oh boy. Politics are depressing. Let's move on...

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Anyone read the Fergie rumours?

It's not going to happen, IMO. Fergie will stay in the dugout until he dies.

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It's not going to happen, IMO. Fergie will stay in the dugout until he dies.

Fook me, I stand corrected. I really did not see that coming.

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It pains me to say it but what a legend to the game Fergie has been. We will never see a reign like his has been again and has certainly deserved that knighthood. Slightly relived he is leaving as someone else will have a chance at winning something. Though I reckon the timing is very convenient for Mourinho to step in, so I may have to take that last point back.

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I'm going to have to go down the same route as Salks here. Much as I don't like Man Utd you have to say that Sir Alex has been a fabulous servant of his club and of football in general in this country. I mean, would football in general be in any way as much fun, as infuriating (if you're not a Man U fan), as gladiatorial, as entertaining as it has been for the last 15 years or so without him ?

And I also have to say hats off to Manchester United, when he started at United, and people forget this, he didn't have the best of starts and United stuck with him rather than fire him, as is the current way, and look to somewhere else for instant glory, hence his singling Sir Bobby Charlton out for thanks in his statement I think. And look where that faith has got them.

If they offered it to Mourinho, would he say no ? I think United will struggle to maintain their dominant position with any other manager in charge, Moyes included.

So to sum up. Thanks for the memories, Sir Alex, even if I didn't like them all.

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Rumour has it that Sir Alex's successor will be named in the next 48 hours. Sky's City Editor has tweeted that he understands that the deal to become SAF's successor has already been signed and has also been approved by the United board. Don't know if that makes it certain that it's going to be Moyes.

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I'm going to have to go down the same route as Salks here. Much as I don't like Man Utd you have to say that Sir Alex has been a fabulous servant of his club and of football in general in this country. I mean, would football in general be in any way as much fun, as infuriating (if you're not a Man U fan), as gladiatorial, as entertaining as it has been for the last 15 years or so without him ?

And I also have to say hats off to Manchester United, when he started at United, and people forget this, he didn't have the best of starts and United stuck with him rather than fire him, as is the current way, and look to somewhere else for instant glory, hence his singling Sir Bobby Charlton out for thanks in his statement I think. And look where that faith has got them.

If they offered it to Mourinho, would he say no ? I think United will struggle to maintain their dominant position with any other manager in charge, Moyes included.

So to sum up. Thanks for the memories, Sir Alex, even if I didn't like them all.

I got to admit, this has taken me completely by surprise. I suppose having secured United's place at the top of the all-time winner's list in England, and having secured his second European Cup a while back, he feels that he's done all that he needs to do. As close to 'mission accomplished' as possible for a football manager.

I echo sentiments here. It's hard to like the wily old geezer, but he's undoubtably an absolute legend of the game, and it's impossible to argue against his brilliance as a manager. While he's had resources few can match, he has constantly regenerated and evolved the club while keeping it competitive at the very highest level. All the best to him, and good luck (err, well, not really, but you know what I mean) to his successor (probably Moyes, possibly Mourinho for the curve-ball) because it's going to be a heck of a task to try and follow up after Fergie!

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As someone who has supported United for over twenty years, I can say I'd be keenly disappointed if:

1) the next manager of Manchester United was not already agreed

2) he was not named Jose Mourinho.

EDIT:

To my mind, the United board has two things to consider:

1) the club ethos. Owned by Americans, Manchester United is first and foremost a money pump. That's how American owners view their teams. Winning is nice but not necessary. The fact that Manchester United wins, and wins often, is a nice bonus. Therefore, keeping the money pumping is of primary concern. Mourinho v Moyes is therefore an easy choice on this basis.

2) the club ethos. Alex Ferguson may have been the most independent-minded manager of the last half-century, but he got on well with the club owners. Moyes has done the same at Everton and has been a very good servant to his club.

The Glazers have only one chance to get this right. If Mourinho has not already agreed to return to Chelsea, his ability to handle the spotlight and proven track record in Europe should make the decision a no-brainer.

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As someone who has supported United for over twenty years, I can say I'd be keenly disappointed if: 1) the next manager of Manchester United was not already agreed 2) he was not named Jose Mourinho. EDIT: To my mind, the United board has two things to consider: 1) the club ethos. Owned by Americans, Manchester United is first and foremost a money pump. That's how American owners view their teams. Winning is nice but not necessary. The fact that Manchester United wins, and wins often, is a nice bonus. Therefore, keeping the money pumping is of primary concern. Mourinho v Moyes is therefore an easy choice on this basis. 2) the club ethos. Alex Ferguson may have been the most independent-minded manager of the last half-century, but he got on well with the club owners. Moyes has done the same at Everton and has been a very good servant to his club. The Glazers have only one chance to get this right. If Mourinho has not already agreed to return to Chelsea, his ability to handle the spotlight and proven track record in Europe should make the decision a no-brainer.
Guess the Glazers disagree with you on this one... apparently now Moyes is all but confirmed (seems there was a 'welcome our new manager David Moyes' picture uploaded onto United's facebook account prematurely). And Everton have also now confirmed that he will leave at the end of the season. Seems nailed on. Interesting little aside is apparently Rooney is quite unsettled now and potentially wants to leave.

Interesting to see if the manager who first blooded him coming to the club convinces him to stay. I think most asked the question 'how to play RVP and Rooney together' when RVP was first signed by United, and honestly it appears overall that Rooney was the man who suffered for Fergie to include RVP into the starting eleven, so I guess it's understandable that he's become a bit unsettled. Would be really interesting to see how the new manager handles it.

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Manchester United are a side renowned for long term stability and British managers.

Moyes was the only logical option. He'll do great.

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I'm reserving judgement till he takes charge. No matter whoever takes over has one hell of a job and will have virtually everyone waiting for his first mistake

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