It was always going to be hard for the ex-Everton manager to succeed the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson. He was always going to need time, given that he is succeeding the greatest manager to ever grace the beautiful game. As Sir Alex once said, we need to stand by our new manager.
Sir Alex has always used the pre-season games to give the young lads their chance to show their talents. And indeed, those is what David Moyes has done during his first pre-season tour with Man Utd, giving young talented academy players like Adnan Januzaj, Jesse Lingard, and Michael Keane and new recruit Wifried Zaha their chance to shine. And all of them were excellent and a pleasure to watch. But things have not gone well for the new Man Utd manager and his backroom staff. Two wins, two draws and two losses against Asian clubs aren’t great results. First of all, Moyes started by sacking Sir Alex’s experienced and talented backroom staff, despite the latter telling him not to do so. Instead, he brought in his own young and not too experienced coaching team. Perhaps it was a good a decision from him, given the fact he is more known to his own people.
Then came the transfer window, where Moyes was a complete disaster. He missed out on top quality players like Thiago Alcantara, Anders Herrera, and Kevin Strootman. He wasted time on impossible targets like Cesc Fabregas. Alex Ferguson’s long-term target, Ezequiel Garay himself declared that because of Moyes the deal was broken. Instead, he got Marouane Fellaini, for an inflated price. He could have got Kevin Strootman, a more box-to-box midfielder than Fellaini for £15 million and Thiago Alcantara, considered as one of the top talent in the world, for £17 million.
He started the season with a not too convincing win against championship side, Wigan, but started the league with an excellent away win against Swansea. United did well against Chelsea too, but from there the performances started to decline, we lost to arch rivals Liverpool (1-0). Despite the 2-0 against 10 men newly promoted team in Crystal Palace, Manchester United was not at all dominant. Following that a 4-1 thrashing against local, Man City and a 1-2 home lost against West Brom. Without Adnan Januzaj the Sunderland result could’ve been different, too.
But despite that, the Red Devils started the European competition in great form, with a 4-2 against Bayer Leverkusen and a draw against a strong Shakhtar Donestsk side.
With the selection of the players, Moyes was not good at all. He repeatedly select the ageing Ryan Giggs. Nani may have signed a new long term contract, but he did played enough compared to the inconsistent wingers Valencia and Young and the creative Shinji Kagawa is being completely overlooked. Instead of playing both, a more defensive and offensive assured player like Fabio, he is using a defensively poor player, Buttner. Fabio is as talented as his brother Rafael. Zaha who was fantastic during the pre-season games, has not play a single league game and Moyes says he isn’t ready just yet. I’d also argue that Hernandez deserves a chance ahead of Welbeck.
Moyes is not using creativity, which is the key to win games in modern football. His football is not offensive and not too pleasing to watch. The problem is with the formation. He keeps on using the old time formation (4-4-2), which is not fitting the players we have. Kagawa preferred role is the central attacking midfielder and not on the wings. And the 4-4-2 formation does not suit him at all. Modern football is more known to formation like the diamond formation, 4-3-3, etc. The 4-4-2 formation is no more used by top European teams. And on top of it, coming new talents are more used to more offensive formation. Cleverley, Kagawa, Anderson, Nick Powell and Januzaj are more comfortable in an advanced role, where they have more freedom to roam and make a killer pass. But it is yet to be seen if the Manchester United manager will improve in his role.
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