It is clear to everyone that Manchester United are having an atrocious season.
I agree that it is to be expected following the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson, along with his backroom staff. However David Moyes could be doing more to avoid this downturn of fortunes for one of England’s top sides.
First of all, Moyes was the one that made the decision to replace all of the then current coaching team at United. The likes of Eric Steele, Mike Phelan and Rene Meulensteen were all left without a job due to Moyes’ decision. Perhaps it would have served the club better if he had maintained the continuity and stability that these coaches created.
Moreover, his tactics and substitutions have not been up to Manchester United's expected standard. The wingers have played more failed balls into the opposition box than any other team, and the attackers are finding it hard to break down opponents – especially without a top class midfielder making last minute runs from deep.
Ferguson’s substitutions were renowned for changing games and often being the difference in important matches; Moyes’, on the other hand, do not appear to affect the game either way. In fact, if anything, it seems to lead to late goals for the other teams.
However, not everything must be pinned on Moyes. He is a good manager and with time, he will succeed.
The club have other issues which are beyond the manager’s control. For example, injuries in all areas of the pitch are disrupting the team selection.
Defensively, Moyes would most likely choose Ferdinand/Evans along with Vidic. This is hardly ever possible though, due to the ages of Vidic and Ferdinand. This leads to Phil Jones and Chris Smalling being played in the centre of defence a lot.
This isn’t a problem, as both are very young, capable, top quality defenders; however it results in a lack of understanding between the two centre halves and David de Gea.
Up top, Moyes has been missing Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney through injury for a while now. These two are up there with some of the best strikers in the world, let alone the Premier League, and therefore leave a massive gap upfront which the likes of Danny Welbeck, Shinji Kagawa and Javier Hernandez can’t always fill.
With Darren Fletcher returning to the heart of the Manchester United midfield, there is hope for United fans. However, without world class signings in the January transfer window, a top four finish and a place in Europe’s elite competition next season is looking increasingly unlikely.
It's times like these that Manchester United fans must remember the old saying: It’s going to get worse before it gets better.
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