33 games in and the reigning champions of the Premier League are languishing in 7th place, 7 points off a European spot - all is not well at Manchester United.
It is no coincidence that this alarming slump in form has come at the same time that Sir Alex Ferguson has been replaced by another angry Scot - David Moyes. This season has revealed many things to fans and pundits, but one has stuck out - David Moyes is not a Manchester United manager.
I feel sorry for Moyes, honestly I do. Any manager who gets Fergie knocking on their door and telling them they are going to manage the most successful club in English football is hardly going to turn it down.
I, as many others too, felt it was a validated decision - the man had accomplished a lot at Everton with so little funds, played some decent football and was a manger that from the outside looked in the mould of Sir Alex.
But looking back it was quite naïve and stupid from the board not to conduct a proper interview process of all candidates, they did know about the task at hand from just before Christmas after all.
Nonetheless, Moyes still had a job to do at United, and he had the full backing of the Manchester United fans. A decent start saw us in and around the top four, a position many United fans would have taken considering the giant Scottish loss we had just encountered, but then form slumped. Fast.
United started December horribly. Doubts emerged. A draw to struggling-for-form Tottenham, and consecutive one-nil losses to Everton and Newcastle was hardly ideal but they recovered to finish they year with some decent wins. January brought three consecutive losses and an Eto'o hat-trick as we fell 3-1 to Chelsea, February was a similar tune, and March brought 3-0 losses to both City and Liverpool. Doubts rise.
Through all this though United fans, whatever their view of Moyes, have remained in great support of their team. But any fan who does not believe in him anymore will know exactly when they were convinced he wasn't for us - for me it was the 2-2 draw with Fulham. Forget the fact that it was one point against the worst team in the league at the time, the play was completely dire - 81 crosses all in all. Eighty one. And this is Manchester United.
From then it became apparent that 'Dave' wasn't right for us. The lack of any tactical knowledge shone through in that game, and even though we salvaged a draw, it was one of the worst United performances in a long, long time.
Now I'm sure Moyes would do well at Newcastle, Hull, Southampton - somewhere where there is low pressure, he is a good manager after all as he proved at Everton. The problem was the step up from low expectations and a low budget at Goodison Park to a big budget and huge expectations at Old Trafford. Injuries to players mean more at big clubs than at others, so do draws and attacking play (or lack of it).
So here is where we lie, a great club with great expectations, in possession of a good manager with good expectations. That's the problem - good isn't great, especially at United. I'm sure Moyes is a nice man, with a nice personality and a good way of managing certain clubs, but that club isn't Manchester United. He isn't right for this kind of pressure, not yet at least.
There is a wide acknowledgement that Moyes will still be in charge next season, and I would like more than anything to be proven wrong, but I just don't see him succeeding here.
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