The term 'team in transition' is one that is frequently thrown around without many actually knowing what they are saying. A team in transition is one that is fundamentally reconciling the departure of key players due to age restrictions with a number of budding talents who are not yet ready to cut it on the big stage.
Nowadays, the term has become used as an excuse of underperforming teams. Liverpool (although the transition may have finally been completed this year) have been a team in transition for six years, according to some fans. Manchester United, however, are truly a team in transition.
Sir Alex Ferguson left David Moyes a massive task when he left in the summer. For all the talk about 'Fergie' wanting to leave a United team that would keep winning for years to come, he didn't do that.
What he left Moyes with instead was a group of very old and very young players who didn't know how they fit into the team. Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra look past their domineering days, Robin van Persie is approaching 30 and an inevitable decline and the inefficient wingers are older but not better.
On the other side, there are incredibly talented players like Wilfried Zaha, Phil Jones, Adnan Januzaj and Danny Welbeck who are too young to have a tangible impact. Moyes needs to find a way to bridge that gap soon before his talented players start jumping ship.
Above all, Moyes needs to get rid of Ashley Young and Nani once and for all. These two have proven time and time again that they aren't up to United's standards. No team wants one spectacular performance for every ten mediocre ones.
Consistency is the vital key that they simply don't have. Young and Nani aren't getting any better and aren't offering anything to the team so maybe it's time to let them go. Januzaj and Zaha look primed to take their place.
The defence is a bigger issue. The imminent departure of three of United's best ever defenders leaves a gaping hole at the back. Chris Smalling isn't up to the task and neither is Jonny Evans.
Jones looks like he might be in time and so does Michael Keane. Moyes should start trying to pair one old player with one young player in order to find the perfect balance between energy and experience. If he continues down his path of two old or two young, then United's defence will continue to struggle as they have been.
There are a myriad of young players trying to push into the team who should be given the chance to show what they're made of. Januzaj has already pleasantly surprised the United faithful. Why not let Zaha try?
Moyes isn't sacrificing anything earth-shattering in benching Nani after all. United are headed for tough times ahead. How well Moyes negotiates that will be the true test of his character as the chosen successor to the greatest manager of all time.
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