1. We’ve lost and drawn so many “must win” games now that it’s probably time we stopped describing matches this way. Every single game between now and May is a “must win” after the points we’ve dropped and any talk of a “tough start to the season” is completely invalid when it comes to discussing our current league position. Losing at home to Everton, on the back of dropped points against the likes of Cardiff and Spurs, is a horrendous result, and there’s not a lot I can say to sugarcoat it.
2. It was probably Marouane Fellaini’s best performance for United, if that’s any consolation. He was more involved in the game than any of his other games and he actually contributed positively to the game. He still doesn’t look like a £27.5m player and he’s so slow, but he’s looking closer to it than he was doing. I suppose that’s not hard, based on his other performances so far this season. But he’s not been given a regular run in the team and yesterday he showed signs of what he could do if he was. He completed more passes than anyone on the pitch with a 93% accuracy. He recovered the ball for United more times than any of our other players, nobody won more tackles than him and nobody made more interceptions.
3. We hit the woodwork a couple of times and should have had at least one penalty, the clearest shout being Phil Jagielka’s handball, so on a different day it could have been a different result. Tim Howard made a couple of great saves too but we just didn’t have what it took. Our best chances fell to Welbeck and Rooney, and ordinarily you’d be happy for your clearest opportunities to go to the striker, but neither were at the races. Rooney never plays well against Everton, try as he might.
4. The substitutions from Moyes seemed positive and sensible for a team going out for three points. Januzaj and Nani definitely gave us more pace and you’d have expected at least one good chance to fall to Chicharito. The striker barely got a touch, whilst the wingers both got a shot or two away. Would Everton have scored that goal with Rafael at the back post though? Valencia obviously isn’t a right back and whilst I am all for an attacking approach, our right side didn’t provide enough cover and that cost us all the points. It’s probably harsh to be too critical of Moyes for that though, considering most United fans would have applauded the decision at the time.
5. The linesman on the touchline in front of the Sir Alex Ferguson stand was appalling all game. Not just that he missed our decisions, but Everton’s too. What was the point of him? Fouls were going on yards away from him and his flag didn’t even twitch, leaving the referee, with a much worse view, to make the decision. For the last 20 minutes, with every foul an Everton player made going unnoticed, he was getting plenty of shit from the fans. He was entirely pointless.
6. The league table makes pretty depressing viewing now. We really couldn’t afford to lose another game at this stage, particularly not at home, and serious questions need to be asked of this team. There’s no denying that the absence of our first choice midfielders, Carrick and Jones, has a big impact, as well us obviously missing Van Persie, but it’s not acceptable for us to be putting in shifts like that. The biggest problem is the monumental fuck up of the summer transfer window, but that has been and gone now, so we have to make the best of what we have. This squad isn’t good enough to win the title, not without Sir Alex Ferguson at least, and it’s criminal that wasn’t addressed in the summer. We need huge buys in January, at overinflated prices, to save our season. But you have to wonder how many top players are going to want to move clubs and worse, move leagues, half way through the season, just a few months before the World Cup. It’s getting worrying now though. Looks like we’ll just have to sit tight this season, get in the top 4, then hope that proper signings in the summer can fix things.
The RoM 2015-16 Season Preview is available for just £5. It includes an EXCLUSIVE interview with Nicky Butt, a Q&A with the country's top journalists about our transfer targets, articles by experts on our new signings, and so much more. All profit goes to Trafford Macmillan so please support this fantastic cause.