Phil Jagielka admits how sorry he felt for his former manager David Moyes after his torrid start to life at Old Trafford but believes the Manchester United powerbrokers disappointed him with their failure to sign his main transfer targets last summer.
Everton captain Jagielka became part of the first Everton team to triumph at Old Trafford since 1992 when Bryan Oviedo’s goal gave them a 1-0 win in Moyes’ first reunion with his old club.
It leaves United in ninth place, 12 points adrift of leaders Arsenal and five behind high-flying Everton, but while Jagielka believes Moyes is under more pressure than he was at Goodison Park, he is convinced the Scot remains the right man to manage the Premier League champions.
And he feels much of the blame belongs with Old Trafford high-ups such as executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward who could not complete deals for players Moyes wanted like Cesc Fabregas, Ander Herrera, Daniele De Rossi, Sami Khedira, Leighton Baines and Fabio Coentrao.
Jagielka said: “I have a lot of time and a lot of respect for David Moyes. I do feel sorry for him. The transfers in the summer, the people who were making those decisions didn’t help him out one bit.
“It is nowhere near a big problem but the pressure was always going to be high. From being at Everton, where the pressure was not so big initially, he could then grow into the season. You can’t grow into the season at Manchester United. You need to come out firing on all cylinders.
“He will come under pressure. But I am sure he knew that once he took the job. He wasn’t going to get a quiet life at Manchester United. It was a fantastic opportunity for him. It proved what a great job he had done at Everton. I am sure he will roll his sleeves up and get the guys moving in the right direction. I am more than sure he will get Manchester United where they need to be.”
The only major signing Moyes made in the summer was to bring in Marouane Fellaini for £27.5 million from Everton but his long pursuit of the midfielder and left-back Baines damaged his relationship with the Merseysiders’ fans.
Moyes, who managed Everton for 11 years before replacing the retired Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford, was jeered by the travelling supporters at Old Trafford but Jagielka believes he will get a better reception when he first returns to his former club.
The centre-back added: “It is how fickle football is. It was the same with Fellaini. He was fantastic for us. I am sure he got abused by our fans today. It is the nature of the beast. I am sure when he comes to Goodison he will still get a round of applause for the first five minutes and then he will get booed and abused for the rest. When you leave a big club like Everton, with such passionate fans, I am sure David Moyes expected the reception, especially with us getting the win we got in the end.”