Football

Could Manchester United slip out of the top four?

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There has been no dream start for David Moyes (©GettyImages)
There has been no dream start for David Moyes (©GettyImages).

Manchester United under Sir Alex Ferguson almost always got their way. That was the United we all came to love or hate, but a new era at Old Trafford is upon us and it hasn't started at all well for David Moyes.

Having played out a goalless draw with Chelsea - not the worst result in the world, but certainly nothing special - a big performance or a result was needed when the champions travelled to Anfield on Sunday and Moyes got neither.

Moyes' comments after the game convinced nobody and the normally down-to-earth Glaswegian must have known that United fans would disagree when he said:

"It's the best we've played this season. I wouldn't be worried if I didn't add to the squad."

If he had watched the same match as the rest of the country, Moyes would know that his squad need improving.

This is still the squad that won the league last year, of course, but with United's rivals improving there was a real need to add extra quality on the back of that Anfield defeat.

Luckily for Moyes, the following day was transfer deadline day - the perfect day to make a statement of intent before the season got fully underway.

That statement of intent was, however, only in the form of an overpriced deal for Marouane Fellaini, a bizarre situation in Bilbao as a communication breakdown or perhaps simply stinginess prevented Ander Herrera becoming a Manchester United player, and a loan deal for Fabio Coentrão that came too late.

As costly as those Deadline Day shenanigans may be for the reputations of Moyes and chief executive Ed Woodward, the cost on the pitch may be just as huge.

United's worst start to a season for five years comes in what is being billed as 'the most competitive Premier League season ever.' Even Tottenham are being tipped by some as potential title winners after their spending spree of a summer.

With Arsenal finally opening their chequebook to bring in Mesut Özil, United fans must suddenly be worried about their top four position.

That may seem a bit rash, but with Chelsea looking nothing other than solid under Jose Mourinho and with City having spent big to improve their squad, United are up against four quality teams in their fight to stay in the top four.

Even Liverpool currently top the league and after a good summer of transfer business themselves, they may well be at that business end of the table as well in May.

With no disrespect to Fellaini - who is a quality player and who should do well for United - the biggest summer transfer sagas at Old Trafford have failed to materialise, from Cesc Fabregas to Luka Modric and back again. That could cost United next spring.

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Topics:
Manchester United
Marouane Fellaini
Football
Premier League
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