Disastrous. Appalling. Unacceptable. Shambolic. Embarrassing. The list of adjectives to describe not only the calamity of yesterday's performance but the entire season could make up the entire article.
Throughout the season the phrase “give Moyes time” has been repeatedly used by pundits and hard-core supporters alike and rightly so. He’s taking over the biggest club in the world and that’s a fact. Granted they may not be the best team in the world but the biggest in terms of support and stature.
"Give Moyes time" was interpreted by many as two to three seasons. But after the calamity against Liverpool that time has been cut significantly. The Stretford End, despite their tremendous support and repeated bellowing “20 times”, will have hidden their true emotions of the result .The support seemed to be aimed more at the players than Moyes, as his chant wasn’t mentioned once.
No United fan will want another season of this mess.
United lacked a sense of identity on the pitch, they didn’t take the game to Liverpool once and yet again the frailties of the middle of midfield was there for all to see. Marouane Fellaini (a player Moyes invested in) and Michael Carrick were outclassed and overpowered by the midfield trio of Steven Gerrard, Jordan Henderson and Joe Allen. Neither of them was going to take hold of the ball and create chances.
We wind the clocks back to last season and United had back-to-back victories over Liverpool. Today it could have been 6 or 7-0 to Brendan Rodger’s side who, for their part, were simply magnificent. Moyes has big problems tactically in terms of attack and what to do with Juan Mata and Robin van Persie.
What most people, hopefully Moyes included, can take away from today is that Mata isn’t a wide player. He’s most effective in the middle of the park: the number 10. He lacks raw pace and Jon Flanagan was at ease for most of the game yesterday as Mata was never going to burst past him; he was always looking to move inwards and find space through the middle.
This was clear for all United supporter to see as Gary Neville rightly pointed out in the commentary. Danny Welbeck or Antonio Valencia was needed to spark counter-attacks with menace when Liverpool’s attack broke up. This substitute was called for at half-time. Moyes brought Welbeck on at 75 minutes. This was at a point when United were already 2-0 down.
This was a fine example of Moyes’s poor decision making when it was so obvious that a change was required much much earlier. Then we get to Van Persie. The Dutchman is not right; not one shot on target and the link up with Wayne Rooney was inexistent. Rooney has been the most influential attacking player for United all season and the only one who was capable of working Simon Mignolet with what would’ve been a fabulous goal.
No one could have foreseen the results coming and dire situation United find themselves. Therefore the upcoming transfer window is perhaps the biggest in United's recent history. Moyes has this one window to halt United from slipping further away from the top.
It's practically guaranteed that the reigning Premier League champions won’t be participating alongside Europe's elite next season in the Champions League thanks to their league position and abysmal display in Athens against Olympiakos in the 1st leg of their last 16 tie. Moyes needs to invest sensibly and bring in players of Champions League pedigree.
The only way United are going to attract the players they want is if the players themselves realise that if they join they're going to be the players that reignite United and see them come back to greatness again.
But if they don’t, then United won't get anybody of the quality needed to rescue them. If the transfer window is unsuccessful for Moyes, United will be in the same unprecedented situation come next season.
And if United are still as they are now by Christmas/New Year of this calendar year, then Moyes is surely out the door.
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