Manchester United’s troubles under David Moyes are well documented. A horrible set of fixtures to start the season brought some early season torment, then there was a positive run of 12 games unbeaten in all competitions, then finally a couple of inexplicable capitulations against Everton and Newcastle at Old Trafford of all places.
They got their win against Shaktar yesterday night, but the performance was not any better, as Moyes himself admitted.
The beleaguered Manchester United manager has spent quite a few of his press conferences defiantly proclaiming that he will eventually get it right. And he may well be justified in his belief.
All well and good, there is a lot to admire about Moyes managerial philosophy. In a way it is similar to his predecessor’s, built on the old school values of hard work and resilience. But there is just one difference, David Moyes’ way of doing things has an innate caution attached to it, while United are used to a much more adventurous approach.
That is something that Moyes will need to incorporate. It is not only about building the team in his own image, it is also about adhering to the culture of attacking football that is a part of the fabric of Manchester United and Moyes will be fully aware of that.
Sir Alex Ferguson was a risk-taker by nature. Moyes needs to throw caution to the winds and become one.
People have wondered how a side that finished 11 points clear of the chasing pack last season can look so toothless in this one.
Well, there are a few factors at play – the rest of the league has improved this season, United had Michael Carrick and Robin Van Persie fit and firing for most of last season unlike this one, Rio Ferdinand had an Indian summer of sorts at the centre of defence, and of course the players had a manager who knew them inside out and had made winning the league a bit of a habit.
Anyhow, David Moyes will have expected a period of transition. He also knows he will be given time to get it right at United, so why not take some chances and set the team out to play with carefree adventure. The lack of a decent midfield may be a weakness for the Old Trafford club, but it made for some terrific see-saw games last season as United won nine times after surrendering the lead.
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