at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
Nothing went right for David Moyes against Everton, not even when it came to escaping a press conference his chastened media officer decided to bring to a sudden and premature end.
He attempted to leave through the wrong door, and so had to suffer the ignominy of re-entering the room to try again.
Whether Moyes gets the chance to try again this summer remains to be seen, particularly after this, quite possibly the nadir of his managerial career.
It was that bad yesterday, however much Manchester United’s troubled manager tried to argue otherwise, and what would have made it all the more uncomfortable for him was the fact that the guy who succeeded him at Goodison Park appears increasingly capable of replacing him again.
However bad things have been at United this season, a lack of alternatives has been given as a reason for sticking with Moyes. Jurgen Klopp, Louis van Gaal and Diego Simeone get mentioned regularly but they come with certain risks.
Perhaps they should look instead at what Roberto Martinez is now achieving at Goodison. A first league double over United in 44 years and a Premier League points tally that is likely to see Everton break the 70-point barrier that always proved beyond Moyes.
Never mind the fact that he secured the FA Cup for Wigan and strikes anyone who encounters him as one of the brightest young managers in the game. He also possesses obvious passion for the English game and seems to have the same star quality as the guy on the other side of Stanley Park.
We should not forget that this was how we used to feel about Moyes too, and it might yet be enough to convince the Old Trafford hierarchy that he deserves the opportunity to spend the money that is required to rebuild this stuttering United side.
But this felt like the tipping point, the point of no return, and the point where Ed Woodward and the Glazers start to think seriously about an alternative to a man who is discovering to his cost that it really would have been better to follow the man who followed Sir Alex Ferguson.
It is certainly hard to imagine Moyes ever experiencing a more depressing journey home from Goodison than the one he endured last night. His players must have known how much this game meant to him and yet they responded with a lifeless, spineless display.
Not for the first time this season, United looked like a team of impostors, like a side subjected to an invasion of the body snatchers. They looked the same. They just didn’t play the same.
It was every bit as abject as that first-leg performance against Olympiacos. Every bit as inept as their recent efforts against Liverpool. If Moyes can take anything from this game, it is the fact that it justified his eagerness to sign Leighton Baines.
Everton’s full backs, two players who were among the more astute purchases Moyes made in his 11 years at this club, performed key roles in securing this victory.
Baines and Seamus Coleman were terrific. And, more significantly, they were in a different league from the two individuals endeavouring to perform the sale roles for United. Alexander Buttner and Chris Smalling? In fairness to Smalling he remains a decent centre half. But they were both sorry excuses for United players on this occasion.
Will Moyes be given the chance to address these and other issues? Will he be forgiven for allowing United to slip so far down from the summit of English football?
He was supposed to be trading up when he left Everton last May, not taking over a team now 12 points adrift of the one he left behind. Even if he does have a game in hand. – Daily Mail