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Why did Manchester United’s David Moyes get it so wrong?

When David Moyes was appointed as the manager of Manchester United, there were some eyebrows raised. The Scot had no doubt done a commendable job at Everton with limited financial resources. But making a mid table regular a tough team to beat is hardly what a Manchester United managerial hopefuls resume should look like. Nevertheless the club appointed him as their manager which was largely backed by retiring manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

Fast forward the scenario to 6 months since his appointment and the current state of affairs at this club would shock even the staunchest of Merseyside fanatics. Manchester United are 7th in the premier league after 25 game weeks, 15 points behind leaders Chelsea and more importantly 11 points behind bitter rivals Liverpool. They have lost a whooping 8 games already including a shocking 6 of them at Old Trafford including infamous defeats at the hands of Swansea West Brom, Newcastle, Everton and Stoke. They have been knocked out of the league cup by then rock bottom Sunderland and knocked out of the FA cup by Swansea at home.

What is it that Sir Alex had when they were lions of England and suddenly today they are like lambs looking to be slaughtered. This is a classic example as to the how important is a manager to a team. Apart from picking the starting eleven every week the manager more importantly brings a philosophy that  is shared by all the players with a collective vision of producing results that would please their  fans.

Let us analyse where this man is lacking and more importantly why he is lacking.
Firstly David Moyes is not the kind o manager who takes decisions quickly. He is not ready to change things and motivate his players when things are not okay. He has failed to bring any kind of depth in the defence which has been their Achilles heel this season. Today’s Vidic is a mere bunny for opponent forwards, Rio Ferdinand looks all set to hang his boots, Rafael has been extremely inconsistent and Phil Jones appears to be set for another lengthy injury lay-off. But what’s more shocking is the exponential deterioration in Frenchman Patrice Evra’s game. The left back who used to be the mainstay of the defence in the recent past has been woefully out form. United need almost a complete defensive overhaul yet Moyes goes on to shell 37 million pounds on Juan Mata, a player who was not required in the United starting line up in the first place.
Secondly when Moyes inherited Ferguson’s squad, they were not his players. Any new manager would preferably use the transfer window to bring in players whom he feels is right for the team and who can fit into his system and style of play effectively. But there were no major signings in the summer window except for a wasteful 27 million dollar for Marouane Fellaini who was a revelation last season as a centre forward. Bizarrely his appearances so far have been limited to the bench and has played as a holding midfielder in the games he has featured so far this season. So David Moyes has spent 30 million dollars odd on a 28 year old holding midfielder! Such a signing can be justified only if the player is a Javi Martinez or a Yaya Toure.
What united are badly missing today is the quality of players such as Scholes who can dictate matches single handedly from the midfield. Michael Carrick hardly justifies his role as the next Scholes. The very fact that he has not provided a single assist so far this season sums up his tale.
Tom cleverly is surely not doing justice to his talent and Darren Fletcher looks rusty.

What is even more puzzling is that United seem to have a better squad this season as compared to last year’s title winning team. In Adnan Januzaj they have arguably found a potential future Ballan d’Or candidate. His technique and vision is outstanding and it is no surprise that United have struggled so far this season without him. Danny Welbeck has been in good form recently and the return of star duo Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie is a major boost to their squad, something that was missing entirely last season. The arrival of Juan Mata only adds spice to the starting line up, yet United have played some of their worst football this season with arguably one of their strongest squads.

Trying to play Rooney as a holding midfielder besides Carrick will hardly do United any good. He is the creative hub of the team and a player who can make some of the best defenders look like bunch of school kids playing street football.
Shockingly United have not scored more than 3 goals this season except for wins at Swansea and Leverkusen. Juan Mata’s arrival hasn’t given the club and the team the required kick that they required to bring their campaign back on track. However it is yet to be seen how effectively he combines with Rooney and van Persie.

United’s current season looks certainly beyond recovery. Their only hope of making to European football next seasons hinges on whether they win the Champions League this season, something that looks quite difficult despite their reasonably good campaign in Europe this season.

Finally lets make the verdict. Every person commits mistakes but one should strive to learn from these mistakes instead of licking their wounds and pacifying themselves. United find themselves where they are because David moyes has just not learnt from his mistakes.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Chas Sinclair

    14 March, 2014 at 15:03

    The decline at Man U started in 2011 when they lost 3-1 to Barcelona. Rather then see this as a warning sign, Man U (Glazer’s, Woodward and Sir Alex) did nothing (other then sign van Persie) to improve the squad. Real Madrid added Bale, Munich added Lewandowski, Barca added Neymar, PSG added Cavani and Man U add ….Fellaini ???
    Secondly, Sir Alex was too stubborn to admit that his UK players were all second-rate and should be replaced. Cleverley, Young, Welbeck, Jones, Evans, Fletcher and Smalling – are all under talented and injury prone and unable to impose their skill on the outcome of a single game.
    Thirdly, Sir Alex hung on too long to Vidic, Ferdinand, Nani, Giggs, Evra and Valencia – who now just sit on the bench when they should be in a pasture somewhere collecting their pension.
    Fourthly, Sir Alex was unable to grow the talent in Buttner, Kagawa, Anderson and Hernandez – so they are also just anchors on the squad.
    Fifthly, the only players who are worth keeping are Rooney, De Gea, Rafael, Mata and Januzaj. All the rest need to go to make room for world-class talent.
    If Man U aspire to win the EPL and to win the CL, then they must do a US$300million rebuild of the entire squad this summer. Sadly, Moyes (who has risen to his level of incompetence – as his CV notes zero achievements) is not up to the task and the first change Man U should make is to hire Lucien Favre or Joachim Loew or Diego Simeone.
    The second change they should make is to hire non UK players (as there is a reason England is ranked 15th in the world) in favour of Germanic/Slav players – players who are skilled and tough and full of desire.

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