Already burdened by the new challenge of managing one of the biggest clubs in the world, it seems David Moyes has one further obstacle to overcome – a ghost!
Since beginning work at Manchester United, the flame-haired Scot has thrown himself into preparations for an assault on the domestic and European fronts. He has spent hours poring over tapes of last season’s performances, drawn up a substantial shopping list to address perceived weaknesses in the squad and reached out to troubled striker Wayne Rooney in the hope that increased Monster Munch rations will convince him to stay.
However, sources at United’s Carrington training complex have revealed that Moyes’s task is already being undermined by the occasional appearance of a spectre which has left the new man ‘visibly shaken’.
“It really is uncanny,” confirmed tea lady Agnes Dearborn. “I’ve worked here for 25 years and never experienced anything like it.
“There were no ghosts, wraiths or phantoms while Sir Alex was manager. In fact, we hardly ever saw him and he certainly never had a cup of tea. But since the day Mr Moyes arrived we have been troubled by a terrifying apparition.”
Her worries were confirmed by youth goalkeeping coach, Steve Bampot.
“Yes, there’s definitely a ghost,” he confirmed.
Reports remain sketchy but it seems the ghoul was first sighted at around 4:45pm on Moyes’ first day at work. It has subsequently appeared each day around the same time, but always slightly later than before.
The spectre’s arrival is heralded by an unusual scent, described by observers variously as ‘peaty’, ‘oaky’, ‘barrel-aged’ and ‘bloody strong’.
Despite a mostly grey hue, the human-esque figure which then appears is distinguishable by a glowing, red ‘face’, whose twisted expression is likened to that of a confused dog passing an unwisely-consumed toy.
There then follows a series of unintelligible but unmistakably angry mutterings which only Moyes himself seems capable of understanding. However, the new manager has kept his own counsel thus far as to what these ‘messages from beyond’ might be.
The ghoul swiftly departs, to where no-one knows but always in the direction of ‘upstairs’.
What this means for Moyes’s prospects in his new role remains unclear, but it is undoubtedly an additional burden for a man whose previous experience of the supernatural was limited to a difficulty in seeing his own reflection in bright light.
As ever, United legend Paddy Crerand was available for comment but was sensibly ignored.