There is nobody who follows Manchester United that ever imagined David Moyes would instantly lead their side to the title in his first or second year, but the catastrophic performances that are starting to become all too familiar have now become too much. Here are the 5 reasons why #moyesout is currently trending not just in Manchester, but around the world…
Moyes doesn’t seem to place value on his bench, either that or he has no idea what changes to make at certain times. This point is exemplified by the game at Stoke where both central defenders had to go off through injury. His side were 1-0 down and he was forced to move Carrick into the back four. Instead of bringing on Fletcher (who has looked fantastic in the games he’s played) to replace Carrick, he moves Rooney to central midfield and brings on Welbeck. Rooney is United’s biggest goal threat, whether it’s scoring or assisting. The mind boggles as to why out of seven substitutes, he couldn’t find a place for Rio Ferdinand who is 100% fit. Not even in the squad.
2. No Inspiration
Following on from the first point, if things aren’t going well on the pitch, Moyes fails to react. A Mourinho or a Ferguson would identify the problem and make a change after 20 minutes if they needed to. There’s no management during the game. Gone are the days when United could call on a substitute to change the game, like Macheda so memorably did in the title run-in against Aston Villa a few years back, or like Solskjaer did countless times before him. A failure to react and spot situations as they develop has cost United perhaps 20 points this season.
3. No Consistent 11
It’s so strange that despite the team occasionally performing quite impressively once or twice, Moyes has not once fielded the same eleven. He must have an idea by now of what his strongest side is. If he doesn’t then something is seriously amiss. Why would you mess around with a winning formula? When United have gone on a run of wins, he still hasn’t been able to keep himself from changing things around. Why is Januzaj not playing? He’s been their best player this season but he’s been on the bench in the last two games.
4. Poor in the Transfer Market
It comes down to awareness again. Ferguson always tried to do his business early in the transfer window. Moyes has spent over £60 million on two players and both were signed at the last minute. What was he doing in the summer? Sunning himself in Thailand? In the last two weeks of pre-season, much like the last two weeks of the January window, Moyes was racing around Europe offering money for every player he watched and yet both times he found his answer in England, although of course the less said about Felaini the better…
5. No Management Team
How he didn’t try to keep at least a couple of Ferguson’s direct assistants nobody will ever know. Coming into a club like United and changing the backroom beyond recognition was professional suicide. Meulensteen or Phelan should definitely have been kept on as a bridge between manager and the players they were already familiar with. As much as you feel bad for Phil Neville, the guy has always been Gary’s bridesmaid. Anybody that watches football in England will have seen the elder Neville’s punditry and analysis and will know that Moyes picked the wrong brother. The Assistant Manager should be someone that is close to the players and someone that they respect. Like Steve McLaren was in 1999, or Carlos Queiroz in the 2000’s… Phil doesn’t quite carve the same figure.
So, how much longer will Moyes get? By the end of the season there’s a very real chance that United will finish with their lowest ever points haul in the Premier League and could end up losing over a third of their games. Moyes has been setting new records this season, but not one of them is one he would particularly have wanted.
Can you put any blame on the players? Yes, probably, but there’s no doubt that the entire squad has more than enough in it to have finished comfortably in the top four this year. No question. When people say it’s the weakest United team in years, they should also ask themselves how many squads, player for player, are better in the League? At a push you would say 2, United have under-performed and the blame falls squarely with David Moyes.