Saturday 19th October 2013 – 4:53pm – I was one of the 75000+ who left Old Trafford very underwhelmed after Southampton snatched a late, but more than deserved equaliser, and headed back with their fans to the south coast cock-a-hoop. I imagine the journey home for the Manchester United players was much more sombre especially for their new manager – who has a LOT of work to do.
Following Sir Alex was always going to be a tough ask (the hardest job in football according to some) but David Moyes in my opinion was a good choice. Yes he has not won a trophy at this level but has over 11 years of Premier League experience and I’d say he has been Everton’s best manager since Howard Kendall. However his start is not helping the cause – his record in the League is 3 wins 2 draws and 3 defeats and he finds himself 8 points off the top of the table and 4 points from the champions league places.
More worryingly I find is that the team are seemingly not gelling well at times, which is okay as long as you’re getting results, last season was a case in point. He is a new manager and wants to do things his way, which I personally feel is the way to go, as his philosophy has been successful to some extent at his previous clubs. However he is now at a club that expects a hell of a lot more and unfortunately for him, the previous manager did this in abundance. Questions have been asked in regards to his use of players such as Kagawa, Zaha and Hernandez and with results as they have been those will continue.
Don’t get me wrong SAF had his bad times (especially his first 3+ years until he won a trophy) – however the football landscape has changed a lot since those days in the late 80s / early 90s – mainly with the inception of the Premier League, 20 top flight titles attained (not to mention a plethora of other trophies) and the fact that Manchester United are now one of the biggest clubs in the world with allegedly money to burn – though with their massive debt I don’t think it is as much as the club like to make out in sporadic press releases.
The spotlight is now massively on David Moyes which as manager is unsurprising. His substitutions on Saturday were strange to say the least (some would say his team selections too) with the crucial one being Smalling for Rooney which in itself makes sense when trying to close out the game. But changing your defensive partnership (Phil Jones and Jonny Evans), especially when they had both played well during the game, and then conceding you are opening yourself up to some criticism, though on the other hand he may say the corner should have been defended properly. I would say privately he knows it was a factor in relinquishing the lead and it is likely it wont happen again in a similar situation – you should always learn from your mistakes they say.
The root, in my opinion, of United’s problems stem from an absolutely terrible summer transfer window, no matter what the club says – you cannot fool the fans. They did a lot of talking, but actually took no action until the last minute when they secured Marouane Felliani for 4 million more than the buyout clause he was available at in July, now I’m no football finance expert but that is just rank stupidity isn’t it??????? Unfortunately Manchester United’s new Chief Executive (TLSEW) – The Lesser Spotted Edward Woodward – has struggled with understanding his new role, ie you need to spend money to get the players you want. His previous role was bringing money into the club as a Commercial Director (and a very good job he did) – I think he is still in that mind set, I personally feel he was driver behind the derisory 28 million joint, yes JOINT bid for Fellaini and Baines, unfortunately for Moyesy he is the manager and he is the one that has to answer to the fans on a match by match basis. As previously said LOTS of work to be done and dipping into the transfer market come January is a must and clubs will know United are desperate which will up prices – TLSEW will not be pleased.
In the long run I’m of the opinion that David Moyes will be good for Manchester United, he is learning very quickly – he has too (especially that everytime Manchester United dont’ win – it is dissected piece by piece – whether its needs to be or not). He is also realising that there is no place to hide when managing the reds of Manchester – seemingly a lot of fans from other clubs love to see United struggle and are desperate for them to fail – whoever the manager is. He needs to get a grip very soon as he is under pressure now but if the current inconsistent form continues then that pressure will become severe and not just from outside the club. They have six games before the next international break (3 Premier League, 2 Champions League and 1 Carling Cup) and they need to get results especially in the league looking at the number of teams in contention for the top four, let alone the title – remember in the 2011-12 season, Chelsea (with a squad of top players) only finished 6th in the Premier League. Arsenal on Sunday 10th November could be a seminal moment – even that early in the season.
ps On the thought that the players are average. Yes some are and they need to improve their performances, but we also have players who other clubs would like. It is also about the squad and if the manager was not sure about this, he needed to press his claims to the club, who have always said funds are available (something I question bearing in mind they did not back him in the summer).
Let me know your thoughts #COTROM