Football

Moyes: 'Man United's tradition is gone'

Moyes criticises former club for abandoning policy of appointing British managers

Former Manchester United boss David Moyes has claimed the club have abandoned tradition in the wake of Sir Alex Ferguson's departure.

Moyes, who replaced his compatriot at the Old Trafford helm in May 2013, has since been succeeded by Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho, while United have invested heavily in the transfer market in a bid to rekindle Ferguson's trophy-laden reign.

The Sunderland manager said: "Manchester United were a club with great traditions that they tended to pick British managers. That tradition has now gone.

"They are a football club who had traditions with the way they spent - they didn't try to compete with all the other clubs, they tried to do what they thought was the right thing to do and spend in the right way.

"I could say that's gone, so I think there have been a few changes at United, but that's the way they have chosen to go."

After a testing start, Mourinho has now got the club moving in the right direction and they will head into the Boxing Day clash with Moyes' Black Cats on the back of a four-game winning streak.

Asked what is behind that improvement, the Scot said: "I think a bit of time, getting people to gel in.

"You sign new players and it takes time for everybody to work together.

"Maybe you have to change a little bit how you play to get people in their best positions, so I think it just takes a little bit of time to do those things."

Manchester United were a club with great traditions that they tended to pick British managers. That tradition has now gone.David Moyes

Moyes also insisted Sunderland will not sell "priceless" striker Jermain Defoe next month because he represents their best chance of staying in the Premier League.

The 34-year-old's goals have proved invaluable to the Black Cats since his return to English football from Toronto two years ago, and the eight he has managed so far this season have fuelled the club's hopes of mounting yet another successful survival fight.

West Ham are understood to have an interest in their former player but, despite Sunderland's need to boost their transfer kitty and reduce their wage bill to aid their own recruitment plans, they have no plans to cash in on Defoe.

Moyes said: "He's priceless, isn't he? There is not a price we could put on his head because he's so important to us staying as a Premier League club.

"He's scored us eight goals just now and if he scores us another eight or 10 in the second half of the season, it will give us a great opportunity of staying up.

"We won't sell him, but we obviously can't stop people talking about it and writing about it."

Meanwhile, Jose Mourinho said that the in-form Zlatan Ibrahimovic will see out his career with United rather than embark on a swansong in the United States or China.

The 35-year-old Swede is United's top scorer having netted 16 times in 25 games, including 10 in his past nine.

Last month, Mourinho stated that he intended to exercise the second-year option on the contract Ibrahimovic penned in the summer.

His immediate future may well be at Old Trafford and, beyond that, Mourinho does not expect the well-travelled striker to bow out with a lucrative stint in the US or China.

"I'm really happy for him," Mourinho said of Ibrahimovic.

"Maybe some people could think (he was) a top scorer but not any more at 35 years old, not any more because the Premier League is not Ligue 1. But for him, 35 is the same as 25, Ligue 1 is the same as the Premier League.

"He scores goals, he plays well and I'm really happy for him because he will end his career on a high, which is amazing. He's not ending his career in America or in China, he's ending his career at the top of the top.

"I'm really pleased with him. His record is good and he can improve. With no penalties, which is amazing too because normally the other guys that are top scorers around the world, they score a lot of penalties. He has had one penalty in 17 Premier League matches so I couldn't be happier." 
- PA SPORT

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