There appear to be plenty of contributing factors to David Moyes' tenure at Old Trafford lasting just 11 months. Tactical naivety, two largely unsuccessful transfer markets and plenty of lacklustre performances have all come as somewhat of a shock for fans of English football who have been used to seeing Manchester United competing at the very top level for the last two decades.
One of, if not the main deciding factor in Moyes being relieved of his duties though, appears to be his failure to ensure Champions League football will be played at Old Trafford next season, with defeat to his former club Everton mathematically ensuring that last season's Premier League champions will not be competing in Europe's best club competition in the next campaign.
William Hill make Manchester United a 11/10 (2.10) shot to finish inside the top four next season and regain their place amongst Europe's elite clubs in the Champions League, a price that would have seemed almost impossible to fathom just nine months ago when United were around 1/12 (1.08) to secure a top four finish with Moyes at the helm. The same firm offer 4/6 (1.67) that they miss out for a second consecutive season.
Ryan Giggs has been placed in temporary charge at Old Trafford while a permanent appointment is sought and the bookmakers are expecting somewhat of a turnaround in fortunes to coincide with the managerial change at Old Trafford. The 40-year-old midfielder is 5/6 (1.83) to garner seven to nine points over the next four matches which consist of Norwich, Sunderland, Hull and Southampton.
William Hill offer 7/2 (4.50) about United collecting 10 or more points from their remaining fixtures, a price that could certainly appeal to those that believe Giggs will be able to get the players to perform at somewhere near the level that was commonplace in their title winning campaign last season. Five or six points is available at 2/1 (3.0) while 20/1 (21.0) is offered that United pick up four points or fewer before the end of the season.
United could be competing in the Europa League in 2014-15 and William Hill make them a 6/1 (7.0) shot to secure the trophy.
That price may seem a little on the short side but considering from next season the winners of Europe's second tier competition will be given a place in the following campaign, the Europa League looks destined to take on a bigger significance in club's plans, especially if United were to find themselves outside the front runners for a top four spot in the later stages of the campaign again.
It's 5/2 (3.50) that United finish eight or lower next season while a return to the top of the table is available at 8/1 (9.0) and a triumph in the FA Cup is priced at 7/1 (8.0).
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