Manchester United made a “mistake” in hiring David Moyes as successor to Sir Alex Ferguson, says Javier Hernandez, with that decision “still haunting them now”.
The Red Devils saw an iconic coach head into retirement during the summer of 2013 – on the back of a 13th Premier League title triumph.
Fellow Scot Moyes was the man chosen to fill the biggest of shoes, with a productive spell at Everton suggesting that he was ready for the most demanding of roles.
A disastrous stint at Old Trafford ended up lasting only a matter of months, with United quickly spotting the error of their ways as they slipped into a serious rut.
They are yet to drag themselves out of that, despite enjoying the odd success over recent years, and Hernandez believes a fallen giant is paying the price for asking the wrong man to take on an “impossible” job.
The Mexico international striker, who was on United’s books between 2010 and 2015, told Rio Ferdinand’s Locker Room show on YouTube: “To be honest, I’m always going to be a red. We didn’t ever have anything personal - Moyes and myself - but it was a mistake that they took him. It was a mistake.
“It was the first mistake but it’s still haunting them now. Not because of him, he was not a bad manager, but they thought they were going to take the replacement of the boss, of Sir Alex, so quick. It’s impossible.
“Not even now, even with [Pep] Guardiola, [Jose] Mourinho and [Jurgen] Klopp, they are not on the same level as the boss even now. They are on the way of trying to get there, to be those kind of managers and they could get there.
“But that changed careers that could have been better. Rafael, myself, Danny Welbeck, and a lot of players who needed to go away to play.
“They brought in David Moyes and I’m not going to question whether he was a good coach, a bad coach but I don’t understand how it is possible - what’s the word, not humble - but to be at least half of what you are succeeding. He was the greatest of all time.”
Chicharito – who is now in MLS with the LA Galaxy - struggled for regular game time after seeing Moyes take the reins and, despite Ferguson getting involved and asking questions of those calling the shots, took in a loan spell at Real Madrid before joining Bayer Leverkusen on a permanent basis in 2015.
He added on the most testing period of a spell at Old Trafford that delivered 59 goals in 157 appearances: “I even went to speak to Sir Alex because he knew I was down.
“He knew I was going to be sold, not loaned to Real Madrid, and we spoke about it and he told me the things I was thinking… ‘this is Real Madrid, man…’ And for a Mexican guy.
“My career lasted for years and my career at Real Madrid lasted one year. They had [Ruud] van Nistelrooy, [David] Beckham, Michael Owen. I’d played for Manchester United and then Real Madrid. It was incredible. It’s still difficult to believe.
“I can accept being a substitute at Man Utd. Sir Alex told me that one of his regrets was not to play me more and he told me he was going to speak to Moyes to tell him I needed to play more.
“He said I was an important figure for Man Utd, I deserved more game time and then David Moyes and (executive vice-chairman) Ed Woodward did not do both. They did not play me and they did not let me go.
“In the winter, there was another opportunity for me to go but he did not let me go because he was so stubborn and that’s why he only lasted seven months because he was not humble, he could not grow to be United.”