Moyes’ Mistakes – Olympiakos vs Manchester United

[Tactical Analysis] Moyes’ Mistakes – Olympiakos vs Manchester United

Moyes United
Wikimedia: Jon Candy

Being a participant in multiple mobile blogs as well as social media groups, I can almost definitively say “I saw this coming”. As bad as it may sound, as soon as I saw our starting line up, I sensed that this would be a long night, not in United’s favor, unfortunately. Dagea, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Smalling, Cleverly, Carrick, Valencia, Young, Rooney and RvP.

Moyes – Wrong On The Starting XI

Let’s Start with United’s defensive line, with injuries to Evans, Jones and Rafael, we had to start with the increasingly lethargic and disinterested Rio Ferdinand at center back and Chris Smalling at right back. Lets just get this out there, Smalling is a decent Center Back, but, under no, and I mean no circumstances, should he be placed at any wing back position. He never directly goes to the ball handler for tackles and is very poor at going forward with the ball.

Young has been so hot and cold I see no reason why he is starting in this team. Januzaj and Kagawa are far better choices; Januzaj has been on good form, reward him. Cleverly is an absolute waste of a midfielder, I must ask what are the criteria to be a starting midfielder on the reigning Premier League Champions. Cleverly could not start on any top ten teams in any of the top four leagues in the world.

Moyes – Wrong on Tactics

When David Moyes puts Young and Valencia on the field, he has to realize that these players do not play compact to the center of the park. These players are always wide, this leaves the midfield wide open for Carrick and Cleverly to advance plays, distribute the ball and defend counterattacks.

Cleverly is just not good enough. The midfield had to have Fellaini or Fletcher alongside Carrick to compliment these wide players. This will allow the team two good holding midfielders who can tackle, distribute, intercept and advance the ball properly. This has an overall positive effect on the team, as then Rooney will now be able to play further up the pitch and support RvP.

Overall, a very poor performance by all players. The team, including Management, Coaches and staff need to now stop and take stock. We need to fix what can be fixed now and set realistic goals to finish the season.



  1. Pages required to list all the things Moyes did wrong = not enough trees in the world.
    Pages required to list all the things Moyes did right = one page …which is blank.

  2. Moyes is “throwing” both CL games so he can just focus on the EPL. There is not other explanation for the mess he served up against Olympiakos.

  3. Totally agree. When I saw the line up, I felt they will lose. Cleverly is not even a premier league standard player. Young and Valencia are on such poor form they don’t deserve even to be on the bench. Maybe they should have put Valencia on right back, and more Smalling inside, and put Kagawa on the right wing, with Januzaj on the left. Fletcher would have been great, and even Afro would have been better than Cleverly.