Make or break for Moyes: can Rooney save Man Utd boss?
The Chosen One will be on borrowed time if United fail at Old Trafford again
THE banner that proclaims David Moyes to be the "The Chosen One" will still be on display at Old Trafford when Man United take to the field against Olympiakos in the Champions League tonight, but the number of people who agree with its message is dwindling.
Things have got so bad this season that there have even been discussions among the fans about taking it down, reports the Daily Mail. "It won't happen, of course. It would be a self-defeating, tasteless act and United's hard core support has more class than that," writes Ian Ladyman. "[But] a growing number already feel that 'The Chosen One' has turned out to be 'The Wrong One'."
Worryingly for Moyes, some of those who harbour doubts are to be found in the Old Trafford boardroom as well as in the stands. His position could "come under immediate scrutiny" if things go wrong again tonight, warns Oliver Kay of The Times.
"Faith in the Moyes regime has weakened considerably among senior figures at United and, while there remains a desire and a fervent hope that the situation improves, the possibility of a managerial change in the summer is now being acknowledged privately within the club," he says.
It all means that tonight's result, according to the Daily Telegraph, could be "make or break" for Moyes.
United are two goals down after their abject performance in the first leg in Greece and, with the stench of defeat to Liverpool on Sunday still hanging over the club, "Moyes faces the prospect of losing his grip on his job if a negative result triggers hostility from supporters".
This is no longer a phony crisis, says Daniel Taylor of The Guardian. "There is certainly the sense that things may be coming to a head and that takes some doing bearing in mind every single piece of information out of Old Trafford since last summer has pointed to this being a club that want to operate to different principles from their rivals."
And the one player who has almost as much at stake as Moyes is Wayne Rooney – the man who could inspire United, according to the Telegraph.
"As United's highest-paid player, one in whom Moyes has placed so much faith and trust, there is little doubt that the time has come for Rooney to deliver in the Champions League," writes Mark Ogden. "If he doesn't do it tonight, who knows when he will next get the opportunity to make his mark in football's greatest club competition?"