Moyes' inexperience will be costly

Moyes' inexperience will be costly
David Moyes.

Manchester United fans were smiling again after the club revived their Champions League campaign last Wednesday.

A 3-0 win at Old Trafford saw United overturn a 2-0 last-16, first-leg defeat by Greek champions Olympiakos and advance to the quarter-finals of Europe's elite football competition.

The courageous comeback has given United fans hope that the Red Devils could now go on to lift their fourth Champions League title, just like Liverpool in 2005, which I was a part of, and Chelsea in 2012.

Back then, Liverpool and Chelsea failed to secure the fourth Champions League spot in the English Premier League, but managed to confirm their participation the following year as the defending champions of Europe.

While you can never rule out United, I think they are unlikely to win the Champions League this season after they were paired with defending champions Bayern Munich in the quarter-final draw yesterday.

But the main reason why European glory is beyond the Red Devils is David Moyes.

Even though Rafael Benitez was also in his first year as Liverpool manager when he masterminded the 2005 Champions League win, the Spaniard went to Anfield with three titles - two La Liga and one Uefa Cup - to his name.

While he did a good job at Everton prior to his big move to Manchester, Moyes simply does not have the same kind of experience or record as Benitez did.

On top of that, United have struggled to find any sort of form this season, unlike the Liverpool team which I played for in 2005.

We might not have done well in the EPL, but we were excellent in the cups and found momentum by beating Juventus and Chelsea on the way to the final against AC Milan, where we got that little bit of luck to lift the trophy after a crazy game.

By contrast, you only have to look at the games United have lost this season.

One result against Olympiakos, who are not in the same class as the other quarter-final teams, will not make a big difference.


To make matters worse, United's quarter-final opponents are Bayern Munich, who alongside Barcelona and Real Madrid, are the three teams I would be desperate to avoid if I were Moyes.

That said, you cannot completely write off United's chances.

After all, the squad have plenty of experienced players who know what it takes to win games of such magnitude.

No less than eight players from the current United squad that beat Chelsea in the 2008 Champions League final either played in or were on the bench for that game in Moscow.

It depends on Moyes if he can fire up his players for the two-legged Bayern tie, even though I think his lack of experience and know-how on the European stage will prove to be United's undoing.

- Dietmar Hamann has played for Bayern Munich, Newcastle, Liverpool and Manchester City. He won the Bundesliga in 1994 and 1997, and the treble of the FA Cup, League Cup and Uefa Cup with Liverpool in 2001, besides the Champions League in 2005. The ex-German international is the author of The Didi Man: My Love Affair With Liverpool.

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