5 issues Moyes must tackle if United are to win the title

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I had a sneaky feeling that once the early-season shock had been swept aside, Manchester United would slowly begin to clamber their way back up the table.

History will tell you to never write off the Red Devils, and yet people persist in doing it year after year, more often than not ending up being proven wrong.

However whilst David Moyes might have regained control of a carriage that was veering viciously off-course, there's still a hell of a lot of work to be done if they are to still be competing for major honours come the end of the campaign. 

With that thought trailing about in our heads we've compiled a list of five pertinent issues that need to be addressed sooner rather than later if Moyes wants to be lifting silverware at the culmination of his debut year at Old Trafford.

In all fairness it's not too hard to imagine him having crossed them all off the checklist come the end of the year...

Solidify the defence

Although the very thought is enough to pain most United fans, Rio Ferdinand is not the player he once was. The ex-England captain is on the decline and, with Nemanja Vidic the only other centre-back who has played regularly over the past few season, they need to organise things at the back.

Johnny Evans has at times shown glimpses of being able to partner United's skipper at the back effectively and Phil Jones' versatility could lay him a claim for the spot, but Moyes must decide whether or not what he has is good enough. If not then he needs to bring in a solid player, and one who won't take too much time adapting to the league.

The left-back debacle concerning Patrice Evra, Leighton Baines and Luke Shaw could do with being resolved as well.

Purchase a creative midfielder

Marouane Fellaini will undoubtedly come good in the end, but even he can't really answer this one to the required level. United lack a centre-midfielder who can go forward and perhaps play in the hole between the midfield and attack. 

In Carrick they have their deep-lying distributor and in Fellaini they have their potential ball-winner, but what they need is a creative spark who can unlock defences when they are otherwise struggling to do so. In my mind Shinji Kagawa provides a solution to this particular problem but it remains to be seen whether he's yet done enough to convince Moyes of the same thing.

If the answer to that query is that in fact he hasn't, then Moyes needs to buy someone who will bolster their attack. 

Install that 'Ferguson grit'

Far easier said that done, and perhaps the one point on this list that Moyes can't immediately remedy. 

Sir Alex Ferguson was renown for building his squads in such a way that they never admitted defeat, no matter how stacked the odds were against them. More than once did they get themselves out of jail in the dying seconds of a game and, with everyone and their dogs wanting to see United fail this year, Moyes needs to install that same passion.

Fergie had his men willing to walk through walls for him to get the desired results and, although the current team are starting to pick things up in the face of adversity, Moyes must make them fear losing. 

Ensure Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney stay fit and firing

Now more than ever before United will have to rely on their world-class strikers to perform in order to see results.

The partnership of Rooney and RVP put them leaps and bounds ahead of the competition last year, and it will give them a tremendous boost, not to mention a considerably greater chance of retaining the title, if they can keep their key players fit again this campaign. 

Injuries and fatigue will take their toll and Javier Hernandez and Welbeck will do a job, but in the end goals win games... Yes, I did just say that.

Ship the deadwood

A problem that Moyes will be offered the chance to deal with in a mere two months, there are a number of figures who either aren't good enough to be playing at the Premier League champions, or aren't considered consistent enough for David Moyes' liking.

The Scot needs to sell these players on at the next available opportunity because, whilst they don't adversely effect the results from the sidelines, they don't do any good either, and their inclusions in the squad takes up positions that could be otherwise put to better use.

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