Everyone expected Manchester United to be having some difficulties under the new regime with David Moyes at the helm. No one thought it would be so bad this early, as the Scottish manager picked up his third loss in six league matches, hearing some boos from the home fans for the first time after the 1-2 loss to West Brom.
The more we see from the team this season, the more we understand a few things: Without Shinji Kagawa on the pitch, Manchester United have nothing creative in their midfield, and it doesn’t matter if Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie and Marouane Fellaini are on the pitch together.
We learn that the main strength of this side, which had no problem winning the league last season, was the influence of Alex Ferguson. On his players, and yes, on the referees and opponents. The selection Moyes has been making when it comes to his lineup was limited with rotation choices and Van Persie not being completely fit, but it was possibly an even worse performance than the sad demolition against Manchester City.
Rio Ferdinand is another sad figure to watch, as his defending continues to decline at an alarming rate. Not just the pace that was never his strong side, but the timing and decision making of coming out at attackers and no longer being physically able to be an imposing figure. Nemanja Vidic being left out of the lineup was a huge mistake, even if Moyes was thinking about the Champions League and giving Evans a chance.
The season isn’t over, far from it. With Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester City all dropping points, there’s no one breaking away, and Arsenal can’t be trusted until we see more from them. However, Moyes is realizing that the job he has taken is much more difficult than he ever believed, and the beginning of this season might indicate just what an incredible job Alex Ferguson did last season with a very similar squad, that simply doesn’t look remotely close to good enough in order to win the Premier League or challenge for the title.