As a Liverpool fan I am both amused and a little sympathetic for Man U’s plight this season. While it might sound like hindsight, I never thought Man U would do well this season. Nor next. Why?
1) Sir Alex did not rebuild last season – how they won the Premiership was a minor miracle. They needed to replace five major players last year and somehow came away with the trophy. And they have yet to replace those five effectively.
2) David Moyes has yet to win a major trophy, so does he really have the ability to build and guide a team to win at the highest club level? Really?
3) Sir Alex is watching his every step, that can not be great for Moyes’ confidence or freedom to be himself. It is in my opinion a poisoned chalice in that respect. Take over and be judged by the legend who is still sat in the stands watching and commenting…… who has ever succeeded with that brief?
4) Man U allowed a great manager to be a recruitment consultant – why? Is a great surgeon also a great nurse or a great car mechanic?
5) Everton’s performances under Moyes were workmanlike and difficult to beat , not exactly Champions League standard was it? And no I do not accept the ‘not enough money’ argument. When you are with a club for that length of time it is entirely possible to scout and develop a number of players. Which in fairness they did with Rooney and maybe one or two others. After how long though?
6) The game has moved on. It is now all about rapid passing to feet through midfield and incisive forward movement by the whole team in 3’s and taking turns to move positions. Because Barcelona and Spain have been a massive influence. It is not about 4-4-2 and dogmatic positioning. And nor do Man U have a viable 4-4-2 without the talent in midfield, one moaning striker and one want away ‘in the hole’ player (yes VP and Rooney)
7) The now greatly depleted coaching staff at Man U is not experienced enough at the highest level. They needed some proven top class brains to replace the staff they allowed to leave / pushed. New ideas and fresh thinking.
8) Wayne Rooney – he’s good, but he is not capable of carrying the whole team, as he has also proved with England. Plus can you really build a team around him? Far better to have a style of play with 2 of each position ready to slot in – as Man C have, Arsenal nearly have, Chelsea nearly have and Liverpool aspire to. Man U have been comprehensively left behind in this respect.
9) Where are the talented youngsters? Where is the next Giggs, Scholes, Beckham? Has the pipeline run dry? Can all those scouts and development squads seriously not offer anyone for the first team without a health complaint (sympathies due) or confidence issues?
10) Questionable transfer and retention policy – Pogba was let go which has proved to be a bad mistake. Signing Fellaini? Are you serious? How much for Mata? A Chelsea reject – you know the team Man U have to beat….
11) Where is the vision? Where are the principles upon which the next era will be built? Crossing from the byeline until Fulham die of boredom? That’s so 1980’s. How many times have Man U players played 1 : 2’s or dribbled into the box this season? Or made space for shots from the edge of the box? Man U used to be all about counter attack and pressure on the ball, quick passing and penetrating runs – now what? Amble forward, wait for the oppo to park ten buses and then complain if only one of fifty attempts goes in. Duh!
12) My personal favourite and England’s continual blight – playing people out of position. Why do managers do this? If a player is blatantly a central or wide player let them take those positions. It must be soul destroying to be told you can only play in the wrong role for your talent. And then put your goalscorer on the touchline….. Duh!
Bottom line – severe cock-up all round.
Leadership – decide on the vision – Man U is mega brand not a plaything, it’s value can also go down.
Sir Alex – take a long deserved holiday and leave the club alone for a while.
Replace Moyes with a proven international winning manager who can speak English, is happy and is not Scottish.
Spend on young players and develop them from within, stop plugging holes with under standard players, bit part players who can not deliver two games in a row.
Build some enthusiasm and fun at Man U – fear only works when people are genuinely afraid, it is not the only way to motivate people. It is not the modern way to motivate players.
Sell off the poor and uninterested to clear the decks
Keep Vidic for as long as you can
Let Rooney go if he wants to, you can not build a team around him and nor should you try. NO PLAYER IS BIGGER THAN THE CLUB – ring any bells?
Play out the season as hard to beat instead of mixed up and hopelessly adrift
Buy one world class ball winner and build a team around rapid passing and counter attack or something like it
i.e have a vision, have some balls and stop being so dour and unadventurous, anyone would think Man U played in a lower league!
BTW – I was not bowled over by Liverpool’s choice of Brendan Rodgers when he was appointed. But I eat my words. The man has a vision and the guts to stick at it. Allegedly he presented a dossier of how to develop Liverpool when applying. Even late last season they began to improve when playing for no honours. And stuck with Suarez the biter…. brilliant and yet what was he thinking?
About time Man U did the same – take a bold step forwards…… or just carry on being a mess for another season.
Gloat? Not yet, Man U’s pockets could be deep if their owners stopped playing funding games for something they clearly can not afford and should never have been allowed to buy.