David Moyes is feeling the pressure, and inevitably so. From chartering a protest plane to attempting to scrap the "Chosen One" banner, Manchester United supporters are beginning to increasingly doubt the Scot's capabilities and question his ability to manage a club of United's stature. On Friday, Moyes insisted that counter-part Sir Alex Ferguson would have too struggled at Old Trafford this season, an imprudent move.
Besides from Maraoune Fellaini, the faces which occupy the home dressing room are completely un-changed. They were the players who guided Fergie to his 13th Premier League title by a comfortable eleven points, implying that personnel has not alone contributed to United's recent travails.
The fact that the squad of Manchester City last season boasted more riches of talent than Fergie's title-winning side is indisputable, but the Scot's no-nonsense managerial traits served the club well. He would motivate his players and urge them on with a certain ferocity unique to the great legend. When his side were under-performing, his well-documented usage of the hairdryer treatment usually inspired memorable comebacks. Moyes is simply shorn of the ability to adequately galvanise his imitable and subdued men.
On the basis that his players have triumphed on more occasions than himself, the theory that the United players fail to adequately respect the former Everton boss is wholly logical and viable. While Moyes's greatest triumphs include Champions League qualification in 2005, the likes of Wayne Rooney and Patrice Evra boast the most prestigious of crowns to their famed names - the Champions League itself.
There is little doubt that Moyes is an excellent manager. With minimal financial muscle at Everton, the 50 year-old shrewdly constructed a decent team, his acquisitions including Maraoune Fellaini, Leighton Baines and Phil Jagielka from low-profile clubs at an extensively low price. His observant nature suited Everton well, with the club able to make substantial profits from the sagacious purchases. His eye for technical prowess seems to have deserted him, failing to make any signings during the summer transfer window.
The squad is admittedly ageing and direly required fresh legs, an opportunity Moyes spurned during his first transfer window last summer. United's midfield options are indisputably depleted and Moyes failed to provide an antidote to the obvious frailties, and now his reluctance is seemingly beginning to show after his midfield was cleanly overpowered by a powerfully adept Manchester City core, composed of Yaya Toure, Fernandinho, Navas and Nasri. It is not the first occasion in which United's midfield woes have been so horribly exposed and exploited during the campaign, and it surely falls short of being the last.
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