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TOP 5: David Moyes Mistakes

Top Five12Everybody makes mistakes. Even Alex Ferguson, even Miley Cyrus. David Moyes, however, can’t take a step without stepping into dog turd. A professional manager, you wouldn’t necessarily believe it. However, it’s apparently too early to call for his head – regardless of whether or not you thought he was the wrong choice in the first place. Anyway, enough whinging about David Moyes, let’s discuss David Moyes’ top 5 mistakes.

Shinji Kagawa

This beautiful man is having his reputation besmirched and his name traduced. It is a disgrace. There is no other word for his treatment. Kagawa proved himself to be a superior player to Wayne Rooney, Michael Carrick, Danny Welbeck, Javier Hernandez and Tom Cleverley in his two years at Borussia Dortmund. He offers simple, neat passing, incisive through-balls, natural creativity and is adept at thrillingly direct attacking. If you were an idiot about tactics, you would rave about his verticality, but none of us here are, so we won’t.

Rooney should not be in the team and is obstructing Kagawa, but there’s a lingering suspicion that Moyes simply doesn’t rate Kagawa regardless of the fat Liverpudlian striker. He’s played Ashley Young ahead of him on the left wing on a number of times, and even worse than that, he gratuitously insulted him by removing him at half time against West Brom, thereby turning a limited display into a hapless on. His behaviour towards Kagawa suggests he simply doesn’t understand football, and that he is taking far too long to recognise the weaknesses in the squad that he could resolve at stroke. But he’s not.


Linked to Kagawa is the terrible approach he has to substitutions. Against West Brom he put on Adnan Januzaj, an 18-year-old, placing inexcusable pressure on such a young player to be the man to turn round the game. For a manager to do that to a player is totally unreasonable, as shown by Januzaj visibly struggling to keep it together for the first 20 minutes of the half. Against Manchester City, is a vital match without Robin Van Persie, his sole change was to replace Ashley Young with Tom Cleverley. Young. Cleverley. One. Change. Against Southampton he introduced Ryan Giggs, who can no longer play football, to calm the game. Obviously all it served was to reduce the side to 10 men. He introduced Chris Smalling in the 87th minute, thereby admitting he was panicking and disrupting a settled central defence that had defended in such a way as to suggest nothing close to any severe problem. He managed Manchester United as if he was managing Everton. Surely there has been enough coverage in the paper for him to have realised that he’s actually taken the job? At this point, his substitutions indicate he hasn’t actually noticed he’s started at Old Trafford. Maybe the presence of his coaching staff and Phil Neville have confused him, and everyone is too embarrassed to say something.


This relates to Shinji Kagawa, as it demonstrates the kind of players that Moyes has prioritised over the winger. Antonio Valencia appears to have given up on life. Whether that’s because of his phd into the futility of existence, or because of a serious problem we are unaware of, he gets a pass. He’s such a mensch that there’s no reason to suspect any moral failing in him. What is unacceptable is that he’s been playing throughout. The alternative, the superior Luis Nani, had been frozen out at the start of the season and United suffered for it. The other alternative, the more promising Wilfried Zaha, has been similarly frozen at the start of the season and United suffered for it. David Moyes has elected to choose a clearly defective player, with no plan as what to do when it inevitably failed.

As for Ashley Young, oh boy. Young has been playing poorly for two years, and with his diving, more embarrassingly than Valencia. There is no excuse for giving the player a game anymore. Yet Young has been given one game after another, only recently being dropped. This suggests that David Moyes was trying to work out how good Ashley Young was. If it has taken him this many games this season to work out how bad he is, then it implies that he really hasn’t prepared well enough for the job this summer. Or been watching any football for two years. A dereliction of duty, and his most unforgivable mistake, with the exception of…

Wayne Rooney

The man Rooney is a washed up recalcitrant who apparently has no interest in performing well for Manchester United ever again. It is fairly easy to believe that he’s biding his time until the World Cup, ensuring he gets game time, only to then put in an explicit request once the whole thing is done. That’s fair enough – he wants out, and we’ve all wanted out of a job we hated. Whether he’s correct to hate playing for Manchester United, well, that’s up for discussion, but that discussion only matters when he’s having it. Fans aren’t going to change his mind and make him stay, they can only make it easier for him to leave.

Moyes, of course, knows all this, and he is the man who chose the plan of action this summer. He chose to indulge Rooney at the expense of Shinji Kagawa, the man likely bought to eventually replace him. He chose to play him after a series of lacklustre performance. He was the man who chose to play him in a 4-4-2, handicapping the balance of the side and allowing them to lose to weaker sides who lined up with three in midfield.


4-4-2 is an OK formation if all your players are world class and able to outshine almost any other opposition. The problem here is that Manchester United’s players are not world class, with the exception of David De Gea and Robin Van Persie. The rest are made up of a mixture of sick hack joke, and very good. For the record, the sick hack joke is Alexander Buttner, and the very good is Rafael. Everyone else is in the mix.

If you play with a 4-4-2 then your midfielders have to be some of the greatest in the world. For all their qualities, and there are at the moment very little, Michael Carrick and Marouane Fellaini are not some of the greatest in the world. Carrick looks disaffected and about to embark on his worst run of form in two years, and Fellaini clearly hasn’t got to grips with his colleagues. Now, to continue with this formation, with these players, is dense, and that is what David Moyes has done. There are alternatives. Both Phil Jones and Tom Cleverley have flaws – Jones is a clumsy goon in midfield, and Cleverley evidently lacks spark. But they can have their uses. The former can disrupt play and the latter can retain possession. More than that, against other teams playing three in the middle, they have the advantage of actually existing. By choosing one of these or, preferably, Shinji Kagawa in a three to add dynamism and ambition, Moyes would prevent the side being so easily overrun. He hasn’t, and they keep dropping points. Oh, David!



  1. WilliamAR says:

    @Redhot Concepts

    Propaganda ( otherwise known as birthday card shit )

  2. Damian says:

    You know what would be an interesting article? Top 5 things David Moyes did right.

  3. WilliamAR says:



  4. slim says:


    correct me f i am wrong but, dont you think WR insistence on playing as a striker is forcing DM hand. when kagawa started we went with a 4231 set up with kags in the midfield 3 behind the striker. i may be wrong but thats what i remember.
    if thats the case then you cant deny dropping one for the other reaps benefits as we will invariably set up properly. and that shows he’s at the least somewhat of a hinderance towards implementing a solution. Not sure WR wants to create in any shape or fashion. he wants to strike and nothing else. Big problem if you ask me.

    parryheid ludicrous suggestion of Danny playing as the link mqn between midfielders an the striker is growing on me and as far as i see it represents another options. He’s strong, protects the ball, always looking ahead towards the goal,linos up well in tight corners. its a little crazy the idea but we seen similar transitions. may not work as solution going forward but at least he has shown it possible with the match against madrid as an example.
    Thing is even with this, the team needs to set up in a flexible manner, do away with 2 forward s acting as strikers. second guy has to do some WR doesn’t look like he is interested in

  5. Go support city says:

    rubbish article, could have shortened it with just one reason…
    1) Not playing Kagawa,.

    Every ”mistake” you mention, comes down to the fact he doesn’t play Kagawa instead of X.

    Oh and on a further note, Fergie played 4-4-2, Fergie bought and played Young and Valencia, and Fergie was the one who barely played Nani at all last season.

  6. matty says:

    Samuel keeps on banging about an interchangeable system, completly ignoring the fact that mr rooney does not want to interchange shit. He wants to strike,outshine rvp and be the star of the team at all costs.

  7. bruce thomas says:

    @ Mr C This is our best hope that he’ll be gone soon. The Glazers won’t want to see the Cl and sponsorship money melting away. Pay the clueless cunt off now and let’s move on.

    Football is a now more than ever a results business and the financial prospects for United as a brand will determine whether Moyes stays or goes. Like I said I hope he can change things positively as not really into the managerial merry go round lark but the signs of him being capable of doing so aren’t good.

  8. samuel - united WE stand says:

    Matty – you’d know that as you are the manager and have instructed him to do so and it is not like rooney hasn’t got the footballing understanding to do it..

  9. mav says:

    Some of the early comments on here. I read two lines and immediately picked up on the difference in in style, I scolled to the bottom and indeed, this article was not written by scott and I think thag was pretty obvious

  10. utdforever says:

    I don’t get how people can blame Rooney for our start to the season. He’s the guy working the hardest for the TEAM… and for fuck’s sake it’s a TEAM sport, not individual, this isn’t fucking golf.

    We’ll come good, DM is still figuring out who his best players are and what system/s work best with the squad we currently have. We gave Sir Alex time so why can’t we give Moyesy a fair crack? Blaming his substitutions? Now that’s taking the piss. Welbeck can hold the ball up as good as anyone in our attack bar RVP. Giggsy was brought on to control the game with his experience and Smalling added height so why all the negativity? SAF used to do the same things. We have been on a decline the last few years so give DM a go for crying out loud. Kagawa will get his chance, we’re not out of the league, we’re still in all competitions, doing well in the CL… give the man a chance. Get behind the team and stop all the whinging…

  11. King Cantona says:

    Waiting for top 100 mistakes.

    Joke !!!!!!!!!!! :)

    Top 5 things Moyes has done right:

    1. Wear a suit to matches.
    2. Sign Januzaj up and play him.
    3. Drop Young
    4. Drop Ando.
    5. Wear a suit to matches.

  12. mav says:

    Man idk, fluid system, rigid system, whatever you want to argue, I still feel rooneys position in the sqaud is detrimental overall to the club at the moment.

    We shall see, hopefully he finds his form again tomorrow, I mean he is being a consistent run of games, unlike other players, so good luck to him

  13. spidey says:

    This is one of the most biased articles I have read on RoM.. Have you forgotten Rooney’s performance against city? He was the only one who was trying.. Nani has been regularly getting games.. I mean I know that Scott was against the appointment of moyes but this was unexpected.. Probably you love united too much to see them perform badly for once.. If this is the case moyes must be the most miserable man on the planet with even the fans seeming to want him to fail.. Doesn’t make much of difference with the so called plastics now does it?

  14. Justin10RvN says:


    every thread you say a great manager can play RvP, Rooney, Januzaj, Kagawa, Nani……so are you saying Moyes isn’t very good? also a great manager couldn’t do that, unless he had the single best Defensive Mid the world has ever seen with the speed of a winger and an understanding of the game to rival this great manager you’ve hypothetically brought into the situation. Playing 5 purely attacking, with little to no defensive quality is tactical suicide, we would be top heavy, no balance whatsoever. Now if we had that hypothetical DMF i referred to earlier, and a back 4 of ’08 Vidic and the current Thiago Silva, and Paolo Maldini, that cast would work and be fucking awesome, the bad news is those players dont grow on trees and we would need an amazing DMF in the team as well, a very athletic one. Even back in the old days they only used a max of 4 forwards, and nowadays the 4-2-4 isn’t something you can do, so idk if you wanted this formation to be a 4-1-5, or a 4-1-2-1-2 diamond, either way it wouldn’t work with the players we have, and an average manager would be able to see that. I do hope for the second part of that sentence tho, that we allow our attackers to actually play and roam/interchange, so we agree on that part. ha

  15. POzzleSnodge says:

    Everyone’s a Kagawa fan all of a sudden.
    Fergie didn’t play him much, either. (he played Giggs in the centre and Kagawa on the wing)
    Kagawa is wasted on the wing.
    BUT He’d be bumping into Rooney all the time in his natural position.
    Rooney is playing well. He may have been a sulking bastard last season but week by week he’s proving his point.
    Moyes inherited this group of players.
    The Prem was very poor last season and we got a lot of luck including City’s implosion.
    We’ve been outclassed by city 5 or 6 times in recent history, only one of those games was under Moyes.
    We’ve been shedding talent like crazy for a long time without replacing it.
    We need a complete rebuild even if it means a couple of years in the wilderness.

  16. Everydayislikesunday says:

    Worth pointing out that

    Alexander Netherton

    is an anagram of

    No T-Rex Neanderthal

    which would be a really good pseudonym for someone taking the piss, and pretending to be a plastic United (alleged) supporter.

    And its still ironic that most people responding to the article don’t see that the author is mocking knee jerk reactions to our current (admittedly) mediocre form

  17. says:

    I have read this article twice now and i’m still not sure if it is a joke or not?

  18. Maltamanc says:

    Samuel…. Unbelievable !!! Driving Shinji to the airport ??? One must wonder what you would do to the likes of Young, Valencia, the 40 year old Giggs and Welbeck who are undoubtedly the worst players I have seen play for United .

  19. King Eric says:

    Yeah good one especially the dig at Carrick. Prick.

  20. GrantSalfordred says:

    Boring, petty babble from the author. One question, how long did SAF take before any sniff of glory?
    DM is the manager, deal with it.ONE LOVE

  21. Daniel88 says:

    Shinji Kagawa has proved NOTHING except he is weak, slow and anonymous in the PL.

    4-4-2 is dead.

    His rotation and substitutions are awful but so was Sir Alex’s..

    So sick of hearing about Rooney, Rooney, Rooney, Rooney, Rooney, Rooney, Rooney, Rooney, Rooney, Rooney, Rooney, Rooney to the point one could be convinced he isn’t the most overrated bag of shit walking the planet.

  22. enzophonics says:

    @EverydayIsLikeSunday; give it up mate – seems whether or not its satire fans at the moment all want to discuss this issue to death. Good spot though!

    Real shame we got the worst possible start (to some) for our new manager. Horrible feeling watching Utd and seeing us so exposed.

    Will take time to paper over the weaknesses; from a declining/ageing CB pairing, lack of topclass midfielders to go with Carrick and Cleverley etc. Manager needs time and our support.

  23. bruce thomas says:

    Whether the article is satirical and mocking, or not — it’s fucking 100% accurate.

  24. RedMIst says:

    Great article and only the most blinkered, Fergie worshipping goons could disagree.

  25. Everydayislikesunday says:


    ‘Kagawa proved himself to be a superior player to Wayne Rooney, Michael Carrick, Danny Welbeck, Javier Hernandez and Tom Cleverley in his two years at Borussia Dortmund.’

    ‘Against West Brom he put on Adnan Januzaj, an 18-year-old, placing inexcusable pressure on such a young player to be the man to turn round the game. For a manager to do that to a player is totally unreasonable’

    ‘Carrick looks disaffected and about to embark on his worst run of form in two years’


  26. SpenceDaMan says:

    Provocative but spot on article! Overall most of you agree that Kagawa should be given more chances and an extended run of games to show what he can do. I fully agree. The times he was getting into the game and starting to influence it, Moyes pulls him out. Has Kagawa started and finished a game under moyes ? It is not his fitness or lack of strength but how to best use the qualities of your players and blend them together as a more effective team. That’s the job of the Manager and sadly Moyes has failed miserably so far. Sitting and warming the bench will kill your confidence. It’s no wonder that both Kagawa and Chica form for their countries is starting to deteriorate. A good manager will be able to come up with a system to play Rooney, RVP and Kagawa. But Moyes needs to run the show not have it dictated to him by Rooney. Rooney just wants to run the show and go for goal himself at the expense of the team. By keeping Rooney at MUFC, that may prove to be its undoing. I will be watching closely if Moyes has the guts to drop Rooney if he is not playing well. If Rooney continues to play then you know who runs the team!!!

  27. trf says:

    And suddenly…all United fans in the world become the greatest manager…ever!!! :D lol

  28. MGx says:

    The issue is – we – and Moyes – dont have time ! likelihood is we will not get in top 4 this season the way we are playing. If we dont get in Top 4 – NO CHAMPIONS LEAGUE – if no champions league – nobody good will sign for us next year – anybody good will sign for someone else – everyone else will get stronger – ergo, we will become weaker. – we have no time to build because building in the above circumstances would take a master strategist . we dont have a master strategist, we have a man who knows how to work hard and how to build a team who can stay in top 10 of the prem league. that is not good enough.

    times have changed. why do you think the biggest clubs change coaches so often. they know the biggest clubs do not have time to build !!

  29. grantedgranted says:

    THIS IS SARCASTIC! My god, some of you here are royal goons.

  30. max says:

    Very poor read.

  31. RedMIst says:

    Everydayislikesunday….Yes, really.

    Do you have a mind of your own or are you one of the many United fans that need to be told what to think by Fergie?
    Fergie was a great manager but is a bitter old man only interested in securing is own legacy.

    The appointment of Moyes will go down as one of the most arrogant, ill conceived ideas ever. Moyes is labelling his players not good enough when the truth of the matter is its Moyes that is not good enough and he never will be. He can’t stop thinking like an Everton manager. Weak and lacking bravery.

  32. Canada says:

    And another list

    1) not playing Nani enough – wasn’t he injured/returning from injury? – not sure playing the bejeezus out of him would be a good idea
    2) for the love of God don’t bring on Janujaz against West Brom – but then bloody hell why isn’t Zaha playing every game
    3) Kagawa – yeah I kinda agree, but he didn’t exactly start every game under Fergie either did he?
    4) Young – he finally dropped Young but neither quickly or early enough – even though we’ve already established in the article that Janujaz shouldn’t be playing vs City and all our other wingers are crap?

    Sorry ROM, you’ve let me down posting this one.

  33. Canada says:

    point 4 *vs West Brom* not City.

  34. Canada says:

    What Moyes has done right:

    1) played Janujaz
    2) played Jones in his preferred position
    3) dropped Young
    4) kept Rooney on (I say this while throwing up a little in my mouth)
    5) restored Nani to the line-up

  35. Dave says:

    One of the worst posts I’ve read in years. Surely this was written by a bitter to wind up Reds

  36. Rhystiano says:

    Who is Alex Netherton!? Articles are fast becoming ridiculous.

    Sort it out RoM


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