Manchester United: Moyes’ struggling start so far with the Red Devils

David Moyes had the unthinkable task of replacing Sir Alex Ferguson. Moyes is one of the money managers in the Scotsman shadow & past glories. However, Moyes was appointed on a six-year contract with a view of continuing Ferguson’s dynasty, whilst with the aim of creating his own legacy at Manchester United. But for the short-term, there’s been some hiccups.

The summer certainly wasn’t the finest one in Manchester United’s rich history, albeit pre-season. After losing various friendlies to Asian sides, as well as Sevilla at Old Trafford on Rio Ferdinand’s testimonial – there was problems off of the field.

The Wayne Rooney ‘saga’ dragged on all summer long. Rooney was persistently linked with a transfer to rivals Chelsea, as the striker admitted he was unhappy – whilst Ferguson revealed Rooney asked him to leave towards the end of last season.

Fortunately for Manchester United, Rooney stayed. But there was more transfer problems. United continuously missed out on transfer targets. Spanish midfield trio Thiago, Cesc Fabregas and Ander Herrera were all pursued by United, only for the club to be rejected either through a financial disagreement or players personally rejecting them. In the end, United made one signing. Marouane Fellaini.

How much? A whopping £27.5 million. Fellaini has ability, I’m not questioning that, but I feel it’s limited. Not only that, I disagree with the transfer fee entirely. Fellaini simply does not warrant such a fee. It’s unjustified. Lastly, I don’t feel he will ever live up to the price tag. A transfer that Manchester United, and more importantly David Moyes, may rue in the future.

Results have fluctuated throughout the season. After seeing off Wigan in the Community Shield and winning their opening day fixture vs Swansea, things got worse. A drab 0-0 draw to Chelsea at Old Trafford as well as a 1-0 defeat to rivals Liverpool at Anfield were the start of Manchester United’s recent troubles.

An embarrassing 4-1 defeat to the hand of Manchester City; the icing on the cake? Somehow, it got worse. West Brom relived the victory of ’78 and defeated Manchester United two goals to one, at Old Trafford no less – a diabolical defensive showing from the champions.

It’s a wide debate regarding Moyes. One that divides opinions like a knife going through butter. Some feel he needs time to settle, as replacing Ferguson is a huge transition for everyone associated to Manchester United football club.

For others, they feel it’s a level that Moyes is incapable of mastering any time soon. Bleak & boring performances from Manchester United in recent fixtures have left many dubious of Moyes.

Is he a tactical nous? No. Manchester United have seemingly been drained of any belief they once had and looked frightened coming up against the bigger sides. All in due time, Moyes may prove his doubters wrong. As for now, many, including myself, do not believe Moyes was the right man to replace Ferguson.

Also, Moyes’ selections has led to suggestions that the Scot does not know his best XI – a point I agree with. For untold reasons, Moyes has left his most creative player to warm the bench – you guessed it, Shinji Kagawa.

The Japanese midfielder has proven during his Dortmund days and in patches last season that when deployed in the correct position, he’s a key asset. He’s able to link the whole team together – attack & defence.

Moyes has rarely commented on Kagawa’s situation (one that everyone is bemused by). I think it goes without saying that in the losses to bigger sides such as Manchester City and Liverpool – Kagawa’s flair and eye for a pass would have proven far better utilities than deploying Tom Cleverley in his role, because of his supposed ‘engine’.

Last point – wingers. To put it straight, Ashley Young & Antonio Valencia are NOT Moyes’ best options for the flanks. Both have no end product and slow down United’s attacks.

Not once, but consistently – week in, week out. I can only imagine how infuriating it must be for United supporters to tolerate these players who are currently offering little to a side in need of creativity and improved final balls. It’s not as if United are limited for options, either.

Nani, when on form, is impressive. His unpredictability and flair out wide could be crucial for Manchester United. Not only that, but he’s ambidextrous – meaning he can cut inwards, or play on either flank, providing the much covered ‘unpredictability’ and that he packs a punch.

However, Nani simply cannot string his form together. There’s no consistency in his game, subsequently making him ineffective – similar to Young & Valencia.

Still, there is more choice. Youngster Wilfried Zaha has hardly been seen for Manchester United since the Community Shield. Yet another play that could provide an instant impact for a lethargic United team. However, Zaha’s short of playing time at the top level and will need time to adapt.

There may be some positives for Manchester United under David Moyes – but I feel there is certainly more negatives. There’s room for improvement!


Written by Liam Lee

Follow Liam on Twitter @Liam10Lee

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