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Fletch: Moyes’ tactics changed things against Swansea

After a few early chances yesterday, United looked absolutely dreadful for the majority of the first half. They were slow, they were pressed by Swansea whenever in possession but didn’t put the away side under anything like the same pressure, their passing was poor, when they got in to the final third they didn’t know what to do, amongst a whole host of other things.

When they emerged from the tunnel for the second half though they played like a different team. A minute after the restart United were 1-0 up, with Adnan Januzaj and Shinji Kagawa swapping place, but both combining to create that goal for Antonio Valencia.

“He felt we could get down the left and made a subtle change by moving Adnan out there and Shinji in behind the striker,” explained the midfielder. “He also told us to raise the tempo, press a little bit quicker in their half and not let them get into their rhythm of passing the ball because they are one of the best passing teams in the league. We knew the right-back was on a yellow card so that [moving Januzaj to left wing] was an opportunity to get at him because he couldn’t give away too many fouls or else he would run the risk of getting a red card.”

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. iamMatty says:

    First of all. . .first!!! :D

  2. Fletch™ says:

    Good of Fletcher to support the manager, but it’s always important to switch tactics innit? One would expect any manager to do similar.

    Only question is why continue to set up with Kags “out of position”. Is it for the good of the lads everlasting soul or sommat?

    Have to say Fletch and Carrick were excellent. Gods we’ve missed Fletcher. Happy Moyes had the strength to see Fletcher as the best option when most were saying he was done.

    Still buggered with injuries.
    Could go a long way to pick a starting XI from this list:

    RvP (thigh).
    Young (Shoulder)
    Nani (Hamstring)
    Fellaini (back)
    Evans (back)

    Plus Jones Rafael and Vidic (out but at least back in training)

  3. Tommy says:

    Glad to see Moyes getting the credit he deserves for changing it around at HT

  4. Sparkz says:

    Yep, there’s been a few games where Moyes has either changed things or bollocked them at half time and we’ve come out a different team (Shakhtar at home also comes to mind). Wish it wouldn’t be needed though!

    Is Jones in full training? Could do with him against Chelsea tbh…. as good as Fletcher was, Jones gives us that little bit more energy. Fletcher doesn’t really play in that all action way anymore these days.

    Also as good as Kagawa was in the hole I’m not sure he will start there against Chelsea. Ramires and Luiz/Mikel might just swallow him up. Fingers crossed Rooney is fit to play in that role.

  5. HillbillyMUFC says:

    Just a couple of minutes into the second half my mood changed from dismay to hope. May this will keep up. My nerves could use a little tonic.

  6. Marq says:


    Agreed on the question mark on playing Kagawa against Chelsea. Swansea didn’t really have a DM, and that allowed Kagawa to collect the ball and turn. Chelsea will have 2 players in that position, so it will be a different ball game. The decision however, is dependent on how fit and ready Rooney is. During Sir Alex’s era, we have come to know that Rooney is someone who needs to feel his way back to form, so its all a question mark for now.

    The one player we need to be on top of his game is Rafael. Hazard is their form player now and stopping him is the key to getting a result. But I wouldn’t be surprised if Mourinho gets Hazard to attack Evra’s flank seeing how he is much more vulnerable, but at least if Hazard is playing on the right, we have 1 less worry of his favourite move of cutting in and shooting.

  7. Marq says:

    Interesting clip here, something Welbeck should learn

    Sums up Solskjaer’s mentality when he was playing, haha

  8. Blacksocks says:

    Evra didn’t look too happy when going off either and went straight down the tunnel. Hope he isn’t injured for next weekend as well!

  9. United says:

    It’s retarded to say it was a “CLEVER move” because the starting positions were wrong in the first place. I’d re-title this as “OBVIOUS move” Firstly, Adnan obviously plays wing – don’t know why Moyes tried him in 10 role for a couple of games, must be desperate. Second, those saying “oh under SAF Kagawa played winger” obviously don’t realise he had RVP, Rooney and Kagawa dilemma. Obviously Rooney is more trusted and proven 10 for Manu so as a result Kagawa had to be shifted to the wing. Fletcher and Carrick work well together as well.

  10. United says:

    Revert to playing both players in their actual positions. What a managerial genius. hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

  11. United says:

    Its really funny all the fans knew that Kagawa should be played no10 but our manager always do up side down.

  12. United says:

    Sing when you are winning UNTIL d match against CHELSEA in Stamford Bridge! Moyesy WON’T get us to Top 4. Mark my words!

  13. Eric Nesh says:

    Fletcher… if he continues like this Carrick might be in trouble if we buy a new proper midfielder. Just my thinking

  14. greenman says:

    United, are you aware that Adnan is not a winger? in fact, he doesn’t have a set position, although some say number 10 will be his best one. In the youth setup they played him in different positions to increase his physical ability. And, Moyes obviously plays him in the flanks because the number 10 position is already congested.

    Having said that, I also wondered why the boss didn’t just start straight up with Kagawa in the center and Adnan on the left.

    But, there could also be a disadvantage if it had begun like that. The Swansea defense could have figured out both Adnan and Kagawa, and by the second half, the pair would have ran out of ideas or be tired since Swansea would have become accustomed to the way they play and frustrate them endlessly. A switch mid-game not only gives it a shock value, but also a few other things to consider:

    - The right back doesn’t have as much energy as when he started, and he has already adapted to defending Kagawa who cuts inside a lot. Also, not to mention, the yellow card (as Fletcher pointed out) meaning he has to be cautious. Adnan switching there means he is at a disadvantage.

    - The Swansea midfield and central defence are also at a disadvantage as they haven’t figured out Kagawa’s movements. And, as they are still trying to figure this out, the movements around Kagawa allows him to pick a pass or two that will split the defence.

    I don’t know, just my opinion, maybe I’m over-thinking. Regardless, who knows what the boss should’ve done, all we know now is, in this case, whatever he did, he got it right.

    The players know it, and I am really glad that Fletcher is back, not only is he fast tracking his return as a player, he has also been going around backing up the manager, rubbishing every silly rumour, and giving the boss total motivation without hesitation. What a leader we have from the academy.

  15. The One says:

    Anderson – hope this is true and that it makes way for us to sign a new midfielder….


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