Manchester United dropped more points in the Premier League on Saturday in their bid to retain their title.

A last ditch equaliser by Southampton at Old Trafford further loosened their grip on the trophy and left them floundering behind the early pace setters.

Three points at the weekend against Stoke is imperative and a positive result against Real Sociedad in their midweek Champions League tie is also important. All weeks are crucial for a club with the legacy of United, but the spotlight will be fixed on them and Moyes over the coming days even more than usual.

Whoever took over from Sir Alex Ferguson was always going to have to fill a big void in the club's history.

The plain fact Ferguson's success may never be replicated makes Moyes' job even more difficult. Expectations every season at United are that they should be challenging on all fronts for silverware. This season expectations are no different but the reality looks set to bring the club back down to earth with a thud. 

Are United willing to settle for a transitional year as they bid to rebuild and adjust to life under Moyes?

Moyes has been chosen because he is a long term replacement for Ferguson and United have learnt from their rivals that constantly changing your manager does not guarantee success.

They have also learnt from the early stages of Ferguson's reign when they put their faith in him despite early failures. However, will the pressures in modern football allow United to give Moyes the same time?

Questions marks have to be raised about Moyes and whether the players are playing for him like they clearly did for Ferguson. Is he the character that the stature of managing United now demands.

Some commentators believe that Moyes is still searching for his best side. However, critics can point to the fact that he has inherited the Premier League champions, so how can he not know what his best side is? There have not been any wholesale changes in personnel so what can the problem be?

More worryingly for United supporters is the fact that their rivals seem to be gaining ground on them at an alarming rate. Manchester City and Chelsea are a lot more fluent than United and teams such as Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool are closing the gap with some impressive displays this season.

United supporters seem patient at the moment but how long will they accept these worrying developments?

What will United do if they are in the same position at Christmas? Especially if the Champions League looks to be only a pipe dream? Danger of not gaining a Champions League spot could be potentially catastrophic and a distinct possibility if results continue in the same vein. The Champions League income has been guaranteed for the last two decades. If they fail to gain this income then will this mean that they fall behind their rivals in the transfer market? Although they are one of the richest clubs in the world the Champions League income must not be underestimated.

Are the United hierarchy getting twitchy or are they confident in their appointment and if United were to dismiss Moyes who could they, or should they, appoint as his replacement?

Added to this was a shambolic summer transfer window where United looked unprofessional and desperate at times. Their policy in the pre-seasonal market seemed to take a massive shift away from what happened during the Ferguson years. United no longer seem to be doing it the conventional Manchester United way.

It has not been all doom and gloom for Moyes.

His decision to hand young star Adnan Januzaj a start at Sunderland looked to be a stroke of genius as he netted twice in their victory. The subsequent signing of a five year deal may well turn out to be one of the best deals brokered in United's history.

Also Moyes looks to have worked hard with Wayne Rooney over the summer and during the season following an unsettling period for the striker towards the end of Ferguson's reign.

Rooney is now turning in some terrific performances for both club and country. We may never truly know the influence of David Moyes in either of these issues but his supporters will lead you to believe he played a crucial part in both of them.

Unfortunately for Moyes his tenure is throwing up more questions than answers at the moment.

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Topics:
#Premier League
#Manchester United
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