It’s all come down to two games now for Moyes, and in both they face Bayern Munich, who are unarguably the best team in Europe right now. This doesn’t mean they are unbeatable however, it just means that tactically, David Moyes must show some intelligence and insight.
Bayern are taking this game very seriously, just a cursory look at their bench at the weekend showed how many of their players were given a rest for the first leg, although in fairness they have their league won. But in any case, and despite some of their players comments on Twitter and in the press, they will know United are potentially dangerous.
So how does Moyes give his side the best chance? Let’s take a look:
1. Play Januzaj
What the youngster gives United every time he plays is a lack of fear. This fear has been visible in almost every other player this season, yet Januzaj isn’t afraid of failure and brings excitement and pace to a side that has been severely lacking in both. Against a 30 year old Lahm, you’d fancy the pace of Januzaj to cause him problems, as well as this he will also be able to offer the pace necessary to keep up with Robben going the other way. Robben is one of many key men for the multi-talented German champions, but there is also a suggestion that if you keep him quiet, you keep them quiet as a team too.
2. Set Up To Attack
There’s no point sitting back and attempting to soak up pressure. Bayern will unlock any defence at some point regardless of who they are. United have looked so vulnerable at the back against the top teams that it would make no sense in attempting to focus on defending well, they must instead focus on what they can do quite well, and what they do well is the link up play between Rooney, Kagawa, Januzaj and Young. These are the four men with enough going forward to offer United width and stretch the game.
3. Examine The Weaknesses
Bayern are so good going forward, but players like Robben, Ribery and Gotze (if selected) are not too keen in going the other way. If United play with energy and width, they will often find the full backs exposed. If they can get a one-on-one situation, there’s no reason why they can’t create chances for Rooney to finish.
4. Choose Wisely
There’s players in the squad that Moyes has continually shown faith in despite their lack of performances. Cleverley, Fellaini, Valencia and Ferdinand shouldn’t be expecting to get a game against Bayern. If Rio appears at centre back or Cleverley at the heart of midfield, Bayern will take great encouragement.
5. Make Decisions During The Game
So often when things haven’t been going well, Moyes has failed to react. Rather, he just stands on the touch line looking forlorn and bemused. Well now we are in the only game that counts, if things aren’t looking too bright, he needs to make some changes. Regardless of whether it’s in the first 20 minutes or not, the fans and the players will all appreciate and be buoyed by the fact that he has made a bold decision. If the fans and the players are buoyed, the team usually does well.
Of course, it’s very easy to say United are likely to lose, on paper they are far worse than Bayern and in terms of form and performances they are miles behind, but if Moyes can just find the right mix of youth and experience, talent and tactical awareness within his starting XI, they have to have a chance.