The Red Devils conceded a massive and jaw-dropping defeat to their neighbours at the Etihad, which highlighted their unconvincing start to the season. Here are my three biggest factors that explain United’s flimsy campaign so far.
My biggest problem so far this season is the constant use of Ashley Young. As a United fan I support all my players, no matter what. Like, for example, whenever I see Ryan Giggs start, I say to myself: he shouldn’t be starting against Liverpool – but, since he is, I’ll back him.
I think I’m more disappointed in the fact that Ashley started against Liverpool and City, and we lost both games. He also started against Palace – a game which we won, but that’s like comparing apples to oranges.
Ashley Young isn’t a Manchester United player, he is going into his third year with the Red Devils and he hasn’t even come closer to that magical form he had at the start of his United career.
Look at that brilliant cameo Adnan Januzaj had after Ashley got subbed off against Palace in his 20 minutes. He created more chances than Ashley Young has created in all his appearances for United so far this season.
I believe Ashley Young has peaked, and that means he will probably never regain his sizzling, early United form.
Rio and Vidic
These two men are excellent defenders, but both are quickly aging, and with their individual injury records in mind, why have they both played every minute so far this season? Well, Moyes doesn’t have the confidence in himself yet to change it up.
Johnny Evans is a good defender; he could have slotted in for either Rio or Vidic against Palace or Bayern Leverkusen. The old guard need a rest . If you watched that depressing 4-1 loss, Rio wasn’t at his highest standards and the same goes for Vidic.
We have games at home against Liverpool in the League Cup and the West Brom in the league as well. These should be the games where Chris Smalling and Johnny Evans can slot in at center back.
We Miss Our Rafael
The biggest loss this season is Rafael – not having a natural full back playing week in and week out is hurting Manchester United. If you watch Chris Smalling he gives away possession in those tight spots, where Rafael wouldn’t.
I find it baffling that Fabio hasn’t gotten a game with his brother out; Fabio started the Champions League final against Barcelona. He gives us pace, tenacity, and a decent threat from the right back position.
United has missed that Brazilian brilliance, especially at the Etihad. Rafael had two assists against City away last year, in contrast to Chris Smalling who was destroyed by Nasri and Kolarov. Most of United’s success was on that right hand sidem and since Rafael became first choice right back, City would focus most of their attention on Evra’s left flank.
Rafael steps up in the big games. Look at Liverpool away last year, for example. We were getting dominated, and then, out of nowhere, Rafael curls in that peach of a goal and we went on to win that game.
Once Rafael returns, Valencia will revitalize because the Ecuadorian international will actually have an helping hand overlapping him and it will provide him more one on one opportunities with opposing defenders, as well.
And with that, I conclude my rant. I have spoken from the heart, and based on what I’ve witnessed so far, deducted that David Moyes is over-relying on our aging, experienced players. However, the one bright spot of this young season, is that he has given young Adnan Januzaj playing time, and we should expect plenty more from this exciting, bright talent.
We must remember that it’s still early days in the David Moyes era and I honestly expected this kind of start. My expectation for this season is a top 3 place, a place in the knock out stages in the Champions League, and a nice run in either of the domestic cup competitions.
As a Manchester United fan, I have been spoiled with glory and a long-line of successes, but we must back our new manager, and with time Moyes can maybe contrive a title winning squad. People should remember that it took Sir Alex quite a while to grab his first trophy at United.
Written by Tyler Dunne
Follow Tyler on Twitter @ChiTownManUTD
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