Monday, 30 September 2013

Thankless task for Moyes

United’s latest defeat to West Brom leaves them sitting 12th after 6 games. Only 3 points behind their city rivals but 12th is not where Man United belong. Not the ideal start for David Moyes we all agree. A lot has been said recently about Moyes deciding to bring in his own back room staff and letting go Mike Phelan and Rene Meulensteen. Newspapers have suggested that if Moyes had kept the backroom team together, United would not be sitting 12th but that just isn’t the case. No matter what happened, Moyes faced an impossible task taking over this summer. Let’s put it into perspective. He had taken over a team that had its star striker wanting a move, an injury prone defense, lack of creativity in midfield and to add to that, every team around him had spent $50 plus on players and they spent a few million on a championship winger. He was following in the footsteps of the greatest manager in sporting history. This is coming from a Liverpool fan. I can say with ease and confidence that Sir Alex is the greatest manager the world of sport has even seen. Not just for what he won, but for how he won it and how he managed it. United also lost David Gill this summer, which was another massive blow. I think fans fail to realise the importance he played in the success of the club. David Gill was a genius in the transfer market. He knew how and when to go for players and United always got their man for the right price. New Chief Exec, Ed Woodward, has already messed up with paying over the odds for Fellaini and also missed out on a number of summer targets. So even before a ball was kicked Moyes was in trouble.

So what kind of team is at United now ? The team consists of an ageing, injury prone and slow center back pair of Vidic and Ferdinand. No strength in dept like previous teams. No goals from the bench in the last 10 minutes. A midfield with no goals whatsoever. This I’d like to point out, is something you associate with United. Scoring goals from midfield. Runs from deep into the box. It just doesn’t happen anymore does it? Cleverly, Carrick, Giggs, Valencia, Nani and Kagawa wont get you double figures will they? Now, before United fans go mental, I am not writing off your team. I still have no doubts your team will finish in the top 3 and that the latest defeat is just a minor blip. However, if you are a realist then you must be worried and troubled.  

Now, moving onto David Moyes. As manager of Everton, he never won a single trophy. He rarely changed his tactics at Everton and one big point is that he usually started with the same team every week. He never had to leave big players on the bench. He never had to juggle a squad or “rotate” as they say. All of these things are daily occurrences in the Old Trafford camp.  When he was appointed, the words coming from inside Old Trafford were longevity, character and passion. They wanted him for the long haul. He had worked wonders at Everton and he had a similar passion and character to his predecessor. That’s what made him the chosen one, as the Stretford end point out in a new banner. The squad currently at his disposal is not good enough, as he pointed out recently. Now people can speculate, but I’m pretty sure Fergie knew the squad was not good enough and on his way out, he would have mentioned to Moyes that the squad needed freshening up. He would have highlighted the areas and players needed and that would have been his last bit of work. Now, some would argue that Fergie should have signed the players he knew he needed for the next season. Why leave it to someone else? If you know the players you need and can get them, why wait? Why not leave your squad in a healthy position for someone to come in and carry on.  Some will say maybe Moyes wanted to pick his own players but the fact is the best players come to United. Quick, smart, counter attacking players. Players who excite fans and score goals.

Moyes faces an impossible task. If he does well with Man United then it was expected. Its Man United after all. He inherited a Championship winning team. But if he does poorly, then cries for “bring back fergie” will echo throughout Old Trafford.

Irrespective of who is in his squad, how much money he has or what type of manager he is, the job at hand is a thankless one. Today football is about instant gratification. Fans and club owners want results, trophies and points now. Moyes and his team face a daunting trip this Wednesday night away to the Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk. Moyes will expect a massive performance from his team. By doing this, they will show the world that they are 100% behind their new gaffer and that they still are a force to be reckoned with. As much as United say he is there for the long haul, something tells me that if this current trend continues and no world class players come in January, then Moyes is skating on thin ice and the chosen one may chose to walk away.