Even with their recent wins in league and European competitions, David Moyes has problem to worry about: Injuries to Jonny Evans and Rafael Da Silva, who didn’t make it in one piece from the trip to Craven Cottage, in which they beat Fulham 3-1.
One of the issues with Moyes’ management style this season has been his inconsistency in picking his first XI, including his defensive selections. It did seem like he is going with an Evans – Jones back two before changing it into something else, moving Jones into the midfield and using Vidic once again in the lineup, while Rio Ferdinand remains on the bench, unused.
This time? Hard to say. Maybe Antonio Valencia will start on the right wing but in a more defensive position than this weekend, while Vidic and Jones or Vidic and Ferdinand start in the centre of defense against a Real Sociedad team that gave Manchester United plenty of problems at Old Trafford.
So who does Moyes use? Phil Jones at right back? Chris Smalling? Fabio? There are plenty of options, but none of them as good as what Rafael offers, at least offensively. There are other questions as well about the midfield. Michael Carrick didn’t play against Fulham which gave United a Cleverley – Jones midfield, working quite well until Cleverley had to be taken off at half time for double vision.
The option instead of him? Marouane Fellaini, someone Manchester United fans hate to see wearing their precious jersey. In truth, Fellaini has been one huge disappointment since joining the team, looking soft and lacking confidence at almost every interval during a match.
Don’t be surprised to see Danny Welbeck and a more tactical approach from Moyes in San Sebastian: In Donetsk United came to uglify the game, and it won’t be too much of a surprise to see it happening against Sociedad as well. Manchester United can live with a draw, and will probably start with early pressure before falling back, hopefully being in the lead by that time. David Moyes is conservative by nature, and the three goals before half time in Fulham were more a case of the home team falling apart than Moyes’ attacking tactics.