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Moyes need to prove he can weather the storm

The supporters of Manchester United are not enjoying themselves much at the moment. Defeat to Swansea in the FA Cup has left Old Trafford a sombre place. Nobody can disguise the poor quality of United’s performances or results and a glance at the league table speaks volumes. Whilst the current situation is not David Moyes’s fault, he may not be the solution to it either.

It is important to acknowledge that United do not have enough players of a sufficiently high quality to challenge for all the major trophies simultaneously. Van Persie and Rooney are way out in front and the others trail in their wake. Talented as many other squad members are, none is capable of dominating a top-level contest like those two.

Therefore, the first area that grabs the attention is United’s behaviour in the transfer market. There are at least two points worthy of note in this area, and David Moyes cannot be blamed for either.

Firstly, United’s transfer policy since the Glazer takeover has been cautious to the point of self-defeatism. The excellent Andersred blog recently noted that the club’s transfer outlay was 12% of revenue before the takeover, whereas it has only been 6% since. Quite simply, the team is not enjoying the benefits of the organisation’s business success.

Secondly, United were put in a very difficult situation during the summer transfer window by the chief executive resigning at the same time as the manager. This left David Moyes and new chief Edward Woodward walking around like tourists in a new city. It cannot be a surprise they were unable to find the best bargains on offer straight away.

Unfortunately, United will not be able to fix this problem by whipping out the cheque book this month. Moyes will need time to build the squad he desires and is already behind the eight ball with this process. Besides, very rarely are the best players available in the brief midwinter window.

Another reason for United’s current plight is the number of injuries the first team squad are suffering from. There have been suggestions that Moyes is overtraining the players and that this is contributing to the current health problems. Evidence does not back up that claim.

United have, in fact, experienced an annual injury crisis for every single one of the past few seasons. Last year, they were forced to play Michael Carrick at centre-back occasionally and even called youth teamer Scott Wootton into the first XI for a Champions’ League game. The difference this season is that van Persie and Rooney, the best two players by far, are injured at the same time. Again, this isn’t a training problem, it is an issue of personnel quality.

The quality of the performances is another matter. Whilst Ferguson was a unique motivational genius, Moyes is not. The current manager cannot be blamed for that, however, it suggests he might not have the experience to get United out of this current rut. David Moyes is definitely a good bloke, but he has not proven that he can weather a storm and deliver that goods at the top level. This is his chance and the evidence so far is unfavourable.

In the meantime, United’s supporters will need to grit their teeth and get on with the job of supporting the team. The League Cup, and a probably final against rampant Manchester City, represents the last real opportunity for silverware this season. This is a set of circumstances they may have to get used to. Whether they like it or not.



  1. m09538061 says:

    We cant mess up a potential ‘Manc’ cup final can we,even David Moyes should be able to plot a 2 legged victory over Sunderland ?

  2. Rukky E. Atebefia says:

    Truth be told the players have been unbelievably underwhelming in the last games regardless of moyes’ motivational ability. That said,I have stated ever since his appointment that he needs step up and prove him self and show us what to expect after the so called transition but obviously that hasn’t been the case. What ever the case maybe u don’t just go from champs to underachievers overnight something is wrong in the coaching set up simple as

  3. TheAdamSegal says:

    Finally an article that is not a witch hunt! You’d think supporters will have learned from our history not to write someone off so quickly.

    Fergie would have lasted how long? 11th and 13th in 89/90 respectively. They would have had his head.

  4. samuel - united WE stand says:

    80s/90s and 2000s.. Two Different eras in united’s history.. different.mentality too. Moyes will be given time but he has to show consistent pattern of progress.. It works both ways. Moyes can’t sit comfortable without showing the progress demanded at the top level.

  5. Phil Adams says:

    TheAdamSeagal Fergie took over a team languishing just above relegation and with a squad half full of borderline alcoholics who’d turn up for training with a sick bucket. The two scenarios aren’t really comparable.
    Saying that, I’m not out for Moyes head. Sack him now and that makes us no better than City and thelike.
    7th in the table is well below United standards. My earliest memories of supporting United growing up in a spill off town in Manchester are from Fergie’s first trophy in 1990. I was 11 and let’s face it we’ve been severely spoilt since then. I genuinely didn’t realise how strange it was going to feel when Fergie finally went.
    Let’s just wake up and realise that times change and we can feel like other supporters for a bit.

    Form is temporary. Class is permanent. The players with class will shine through and there are more class players than many people realise.

  6. scholes18 says:

    moyes has not shown qualities of turning anything as of yet and judging by low morale of the squad, sunderland away tonight will not be an easy outing either.

    i understand why moyes has not played anderson but wasting him (and paying him to get fat) on bench is no solution. fletcher played well in previous game but he wont start today. carrick may (he needs to improve this season) start with cleverly who i find only suitable for playing in 3 man midfield and at least not with immobile players like carrick and fellaini.

    fabio is out, so is rooney RVP, young,rafa, nani and jones

    my team for today will be


    valencia ……….smalling……vidic …………. buttner (deserves 2nd chance)




    moyes will play giggs, cleverly, smalling at RB and kagawa at LW which is total waste of space.

    to be honest, i am not so hopeful today but i really want us to play attacking football. playing pathetically on top of losing is only adding insult to an injury. though, winning seems to be an easier proposition under moyes than playing attacking-ly.

    moyes does not feel january as an ideal purchasing window, summer window is filled with world cup and even if (a big if) we buy somebody he will take next january window to acclimatized…phew….football was never that complicated for united.

  7. TheAdamSegal says:

    @Samuel different does not mean better.

    A world class team has a shelf life and if there isn’t adequate investment, it falls to pieces.

    In the last few years investment in the team has dwindled. Our competitors are spending hundreds of millions to compete and it shows. Yes Fergie won the league last season with these players but they are all a year older and the writing has been on the wall for a very long time.

    We’ll have to just accept this season for what it is and hope that we can lure some top notch players for a comeback next season.

  8. Alan Mackrell says:

    All reds want Moyes to bring further succes but even the most trusting and optimistic are starting to doubt now. There is a real danger that Moyes is not the man for the job and he will set us too far back. With all the debt, the penalties United face if we fail to qualify for Europe next season must be substantial. We can’t blame Moyes for this: It’s the Glaziers.

  9. edcunited1878 says:

    Moyes doesn’t have the solutions around him. Sir Alex surrounded himself with progressive men and men who had real strengths he could go to. Moyes has numpties to go to. I’m sure they are decent, humble men, but when you’re at Manchester United Football Club, you need to be a class or two above the rest of your coaching peers. Round and Lumsden are not up to par.

    Again, just look at the teams above United and see how they setup, and how their manager’s style is.

    United need to replace the deadwood with youth players and established professionals who can improve at Manchester United. Getting players at or near world class is not possible at the moment. But United need progressive coaches and a manager who can take what they have, coach them up and put them in a system that takes the best out of them, which creates a collectively strong and competent unit.

    United have been so fragmented and one dimensional on the pitch more times than not. It’s so easy for teams to setup against United now and Moyes continues to employ the same ideas in varying circumstances, which results in various results, i.e., no consistency,.

  10. TopRed123 says:

    We can’t blame David Moyes for anything? How about the team lacking any tangible playing style or cohesion, or the fact that right now there are 11 players on the pitch not really playing as a team. Guess that’s someone else’s fault too.

    With regards to the amount that has been spent on transfers I really can’t see how all the blame is placed on the owners. SAF said on several occasions that the owners were ALWAYS ready to back him in the market and that he had pretty much free hands. The fact that we didn’t strengthen the squad had to do with SAF’s refusal to buy more than what the Glazers did. Hell, if SAF wouldn’t have had such a problem with paying agents money (agents other than Mendez that is) we probably would’ve got a lot of players in during the last couple of years.

    Oh, and on the injury front we really can’t say much about the majority of the injuries, but when it comes to RVP Moyes himself said that he should’ve taken him off earlier against Newcastle but he didn’t have the guts to do a decision because he was afraid of the reaction from fans and media. That’s the hallmark of a Manchester United manager right there.

    Why are people still comparing the early years of SAF and Moyes? In what universe are the two situations even remotely comparable? The only common factor was that both took over Manchester United, the rest are completely different. You should be able to do so much better with the squad we have. Trophies or results aren’t a God given right for any club, but you can at least try to play a brand of football that doesn’t put half the supporter base into a coma.

  11. TheAdamSegal says:

    @TopRed why should you be able to do so much better with the squad? What responsibility do the squad have?

    Even the best players in the world get old and worn out.

    Rio is a fossil
    Vidic has not been the same since injury
    Evra is asleep in defense

    Our midfield has been a problem for 6 years already and our wingers are all out of form and have been since before Moyes was even in the picture. We lost the title on goal difference at a time when our attack did almost enough to cover up for defensive issues. Last game last season we drew 5-5 with WBA – was that Moyes?

    Last season the competition scored 43 goals against us, the highest tally since 99-00! The competition has only gotten stronger and the club has not invested as much money – eventually this will catch up to you.

    Moyes can train and strategize all he wants, at the end of the day, the players need to respect his command and have passion – I don’t see anyone apart from Rooney (and maybe Fletcher) with that drive at the moment. He was right, the club does not have the same ambition he has.

    Moyes took over dead weight. The club did not invest in a director of football and they let both SAF and Gill leave removing all business stability. But yes, let’s blame Moyes for everything!

    He does not have the control that SAF had and he is forced to put a goofy smile on his face for the cameras when conducting interviews. Do you think he is happy with current affairs? Behind the scenes there is probably a very different story.

    The Glazers did not back Fergie 100% in the transfer market, nor do they back Moyes. SAF left when he did for a very good reason, time was up on this squad and he wanted to leave on top. Smart move.

  12. warrored says:

    The fans also need too prove they can weather the shit storm too and support the manager. It was great to see the Stretty clapping Moyes off at the end again. Actions like these can only help him settle and feel that we have his back right now, God knows the ABU knives are sharpened and ready to plunge.

    A case in point is that crap article posted by John about Everton fans being brainwashed into thinking 8th place was good.

    How the fuck did the writer come up with that headline? 8th place is good?

    Fuck me they only finished 8th once and lower twice. They finished 4th once 5th twice 6th twice and 7th twice. All whilst battling with no funds of note and paying shit wages too. While Us Arsenal City Chelsea Liverpool and Newcastle were outspending them by hundreds of millions each.

    But Moyes is shit whereas Martinez who took over a mid table Wigan got them relegated in 3 fucking years and is a god haha. (well I suppose he did beat city which was of course good)

    All we need is a couple of decent signings a LB and CM and get our strikers back fit and playing and we could still get 4th, but we don’t have time to be fucking around.

  13. Tommy says:


    Your name is misleading as all you do is bitch and moan over and over again about Moyes Good article about Rio, Time he was moved on.

    People say its hard to get players in january, If you offered enough you would get them, every player has his price for example a 100mill offer for Koke (Obviously wsy above valuation) would be enough to sign him

  14. TheAdamSegal says:

    Rumor has it we’ve made a bid for Pjanic

  15. OhioRed says:

    Let’s be honest here, how many of us get more time at our regular jobs (that we are not getting paid million dollar salaries) to mess up time and time again?

    Moyes had 11 YEARS at Everton and was supposed to bring that experience to help United and so far he has failed miserably.

  16. Urval87 says:

    Just read an article with quotes in the daily mail where Vidic’s agent has ruled out a contract extension with United for now. I know that he has not been at his best this year but retaining top quality players as David Moyes makes his impression on the club will be critical. Jonny Evans has been great this year, but Smallings recent shaky record and Jones’ continued injury problems indicate to me that we need a mature head in defence.

    Allegedly, the dispute may be because the club only want to offer a one-year deal because of his age, but Vidic’s is the quality of player I would hope the club recognise and make a slight compromise for.

  17. TheAdamSegal says:

    @OhioRed if you were expected to build a spreadsheet and the business decided to sell your PC, you’d expect a new PC before getting a performance review…

    What Moyes did for Everton was fantastic. He is the right man for the job, I believe that, I just think that these are troubling times.

    Again, I keep asking, what alternatives do we have if we sack him tomorrow?

  18. Chris says:

    @Tommy: Much like the Vidic article that one on Rio could be completely bollocks too, its all conjecture with no substance – when Rio came out about the way Moyes announces the team I don’t remember anybody having a go at him for it, everybody said he was just answering a journalists questions so what’s changed? People are twisting every story to backup their stance on Moyes and whether he is the right man or not.

    I agree with about signings in January; every player has his price. The club have said there are funds so why shouldn’t we spend big this month and get the players that we are desperate for? If anything its going to be even harder in the summer because of the World Cup – players don’t like moving before the finals and its sods law that any player we want will have a stormer and their price will double. If results don’t improve and we don’t make the CL next season it becomes even harder to attract the top players because that’s where they all want to be.

  19. shawntjohn says:

    Guys guys… We are a winning club. Sir Alex wont tolerate this momentum… its possible he might return like Scholsie only to take United to the next level. haha have a laugh… its all good… its encrypted in our dna… We Move ON!

  20. scholes18 says:

    regarding rio, i certainly feel he has let down moyes and others with his performances.

    his jibe about team selection was right. in my opinion, a player is better prepared mentally if he knows he is selected for the game beforehand or not. for ex: telling a player that he is playing might make him more focused on playing style of opponents, his direct opposition player, past experiences of playing against same opposition etc. there is a limit which a laptop can do for you, least of which is performing in field.

    rio has been abysmal of late, getting caught in possession and beaten for pace. he was never an overtly aggressive and ninja type heading defender but due to age and general lack of concentration his usual positioning and intercepting skills have deluded him.

    evra is not a lesser culprit. i know he is continuously playing close to 50 games a season for past 6 years or so and without the power capsules of ‘winning’ he seems to be finally run out of steam and will. it is just a matter of choosing worst moment to fail if there is a good moment to fail at all.

    our usual counter attacking style also has become property of DVDs and youtube. apart from lacking of requisite personnel, undue preference of playing a safe pass (and safe players) has resulted in its demise. one mistake (like against tottenham, new castle etc) is enough to completely turn ‘safe game’ into self destructive game

    i am not going to start on pressing down (or lack of it) and passion-less/lethargic displays and body language of our players

  21. Fletch™ says:

    Cheers lads! Looking for some bright spots from the game tonight. Hearing Rooney will be in the line up which sounds a risk. Hope he doesn’t aggravate his injury.

    Sad news, Vidic’s agent is being widely MISQUOTED as saying Vidic will leave this summer.
    Silvio has been the voice of reason in the past, always distancing him from a move away.

    BUT the quotes this time are that he will wait until the summer to decide. This is a big shift from past comments from the agent. Rio looks done and dusted, hope we can keep Vidic for one more year to help bring the youngsters along. Have no problem with Smalling Evans and Jones. But we need at least 5 CBs. Michael Keane is a good prospect from the ressies, but probably not ready quite yet.

    If Rio and Vidic both go, we will probably by a CB this summer. Been linked with Garay for 2 years now. Maybe it’s time.

    Very sad to see Vidic and Rio go. Have loads of time for those lads. One of the absolutely top CB pairs we have had. Now sadly calling it a day if this news can be believed.

  22. keanoisdaman says:

    Not a great start by moyes and theres a whole lot of room for improvement but this club(and its more sensible fans) know that we have to be patient.But looking at some of the bile posted by some of the idiots on here makes me cringe.Im just glad most match going fans understand.

  23. Gordon Lynch says:

    I found this interesting line up on the web today.It shocked me how similar the current line up is……….. I hope David Moyes reads this :)

    LINEUP that beat Arsenal 8-2 on 28 Aug 2011
    Manchester United
    01 De Gea
    03 Evra
    04 Jones
    06 Evans Booked
    12 Smalling
    08 Anderson (Giggs – 68′ )
    17 Nani (Park Ji-sung – 68′ )
    18 Young Booked
    23 Cleverley
    10 Rooney
    19 Welbeck (Hernandez – 35′ )

    34 Lindegaard
    05 Ferdinand
    20 F Da Silva
    11 Giggs
    13 Park Ji-sung
    09 Berbatov
    14 Hernandez

  24. Fletch™ says:

    Starting XI: DeGea, Rafael Vidic Evans Evra; Carrick Cleverley; Valencia Giggs Januzaj; Welbeck.

    bench:Lindegaard Smalling Hernandez Fletcher Kagawa Buttner Zaha

  25. warrored says:

    Ref Vidic….I love the guy, BUT he has been in and out all season and has clearly lost something after his injuries. I understand about experience etc but this season in particular he has been exposed a few times and last season too against Fulham at home he should have cleared the ball and let DDG take the blame and he was dropped by SAF……at this level it is only small dips that lead to goals. All of our back 4 look vulnerable at times and I feel it’s time for a clear out. Rio Evra and Vida may go. We will have Jones Evans Smalling and possibly Michael Keane as back up plus another CB signing. Evans is now 26 or so and time to step up. He’s been a stalwart with either Rio or Vida beside him in the past so he has it in him to go even further.

    I’m convinced if Vida stays it will only be as back up.

    Moyes has proven he made Everton hard to beat. Part of that was a very competent and stable back 4. Look at Distin Jagielka Baines Coleman Ovieda Stones all for £17 million and all a big part of Everton stil and all apart from Distin would get into our back 4 given our injuries in that department.

    Maybe a back four built on the Moyes foundations is what we really need. We haven’t had a back four that has been unchanged for 3 successive games in 4 years……something to think about.

  26. Mark Everson says:

    What a fucking laughing stock we’re turning into! I suppose it’s our comeuppance for being so successful over the last 20 years, but who’d've thought it would be this bad! This team/squad seriously needs a lot of money thrown at it – urgently. what’s this bullshit that you can’t get the right players in the January window? You can if you make the right offer. We should offer £30m for Reus and throw in Kagawa, £20m for Koke and throw in Anderson. £30m for Costa and throw in hernandez, £20m for hummels and throw in Vidic. there, Job done – and some dead wood leaves too!

  27. Toni Andersson says:

    Our team isn´t underachieving now….we have overachieved for 5 years and been good at grinding out results not very well deserved against teams like West ham, Hull, Arsenal or even Liverpool.

    A team of Fletchers, older Rios, even older Giggs, semifat Andersons, strikers without balance (Welbeck), and talent that never blooms (Clevs) in the starting line up should never be able to compete for the silverware. Just compare with our rivals. Football is a harsh and unforgiving sport. If you don´t keep your best talents (Pique and Pogba) and are satisfied with Welbz as back up striker then u can´t compete with sheiks and oligarks legoteams.
    Sir Alex managed somehow to get the last energy out of every one of them last year and grinded out close wins all season but non of our opponents had a very good run last year which made us look even better.

    Time to get the rewards of the monster deals from Chevrolet and Nike and get some quality into the squad and equally important get rid of the dead wood.

  28. Mark Finch says:

    When people say “Fergie was given time and look what happened” , that’s a duff argument as Fergie had won trophies at his previous club (so could say to fans and the board “i can win you things”) and took over a club that had massive potential and turned it around to be bigger than it was , in due time turned it into a giant of a club , if you look at the players at the end of the season that possibly should or will move on (excuse the bad spelling am typing on ipod) Ferdinand (age + injury record + wages) , Vidic (looks to leave for Spain) , Fabio (not got on) , Hernandez (wants 1st team football) , Evra (age + wages) , Giggs (age) , Valencia ( not the player he was) , Cleverley (not a top class attacking midfielder) , Kagawa (wants 1st team football), Rooney (how long can a player keep questioning a clubs ambition and then to be rewarded with a new contract and given his life style won’t be a half the player he is when he’s say 32) that’s a sizeable chunk of the squad and as seen with Spurs putting in so many new players at once can be a step back rather than forward, i have heard pundits say that if United don’t make the the top 4 they will struggle to attract the top players . That is not true as Monaco and Citeh have shown (during the Hughes and first season of Mancini) you can still attract top players buy you have to pay them extra to get them to join. The top locked in top 4 of United, Chelsea , Arsenal , Liverpool died and now a top 6-8 exists you’d say Citeh and Chelsea given their squads and budgets are locked in to the CL places and the other two at the moment seem like they will swap between Liverpool , United, Spurs , Arsenal with possibly Everton. Also you don’t negotiate with Bilbao , they can only sign Basque players so you pay what they tell you to pay.

  29. Simon Flavum Cowgill says:

    14 of our registered squad are under 25 with another 7 out on loan we currently have 5 players aged 30. You are an idiot.

    We have always invested heavily in young players, and that didn’t change when the Glazers first came in, with us buying players like Pogba, Smalling, Nani, Anderson, Bebe and Ronaldo in the hope of turning them into world class players- which obviously not all of them have (slight understatement); sure, we sprinkled in a few big buys (as we did in the 90s), but the debt we are in means, even if Moyes wanted to, we couldn’t go out and just buy a team world class players as Chelsea did when Abramovic came in.

    I love every moment of being a united fan and revel in the fact that everyone hates us. Everyone in the press and other fans slagging us off and enjoying every second, as well as writing us off doesn’t bother me half as much as plastic united “fans” who won’t get behind the lads and the manager because we haven’t had a good start to the season. We are a club who have always put faith in youth and don’t go through managers like loaves of bread. If you want the manager sacked or want to boo our lads you support the wrong club, and please stop pretending to be Red.

  30. Mark Finch says:

    While i agree United have given youngsters a chance , the youth policy at the club has failed. Who have been United’s key players over the last decade (if you omit Giggs , Scholes , Neville from the old skool) Evra , Vidic , Van Der Sar , Ruud , Rooney , Carrick , Ronaldo , Tevez whom are all buys from other clubs. The united academy in 10 years has not produced a player of merit that you can honestly say is a top top class player , this is the same with almost every premier league club. Millions are being spent on academies but the best players that seem to come through are players taken from Europe at age 16 and given a few years finishing school by clubs.

  31. Tommy says:

    @Mark Finch

    I think people overestimate people coming through an academy, I read a piece not so long ago that I agreed with that said if you get 1 player through your academy in every era your doing well, Its the cut and thrust world of football, teams dont have the patience any more


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