Anyone still trying to defend David Moyes and anything he’s done to Manchester United this season is running out of excuses and explanations. Fielding a lineup with no wingers and later on stuffing Shinji Kagawa, Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata on the same pitch is yet another low in the clueless approach and desperation of a manager who is simply way in over his head.
Manchester United losing to Manchester City blends in to the other disastrous results this awful team has produced this season, making it two consecutive home defeats to bitter rivals, both 3-0. Manchester United are now 1-of-15 against the other top 9 teams this season, their only win coming against Arsenal, who don’t seem like the toughest outing at the moment.
All the used excuses about a weak squad, transition period and anything else those trying to protect Moyes blindly because of some false notion of loyalty are getting old. The players Moyes signed this season have looked worse with every match that goes by: Maroune Fellaini simply doesn’t seem like someone good enough to play at this level, while Juan Mata is lost in a lineup and formation no one is quite sure what’s going on with.
It was shocking to see David Moyes make the following mistakes as he began the match against a superior side: Two very fragile (defensively) full backs with Rio Ferdinand helping them out but no wingers to cover for them on the flanks. Tom Cleverley, a player who has been atrocious this season and is confidence has been shattered, in the starting lineup. Danny Welbeck as something of a left winger but not really, and the Juan Mata / Wayne Rooney combination getting in each other’s way.
There were some moments of nice counter attacking from Manchester United, but you don’t spend £70 million on counter attacks that produce nothing. Whenever Manchester City felt like it they pressed the Manchester Unite midfield quite easily using Fernandinho and Yaya Toure as anchors.
Halftime, what does Moyes do? Cleverley comes off because of an injury, and throws in Shinji Kagawa. We now have three players who love to play behind the striker, but with no midfielders good enough to spot them as they are open, while Kagawa switches from left winger to right winger, two positions he will be completely useless in. By the end of the second half, you forget Juan Mata was actually playing.
Manchester City make it a 2-0 lead, and Antonio Valencia joins the fray. Now Valencia is playing alongside Kagawa on the right wing, while Wayne Rooney drops to central midfield and sort things out. He doesn’t, as the team starts crossing aimlessly once more, while Javier Hernandez, another player Moyes has completely ruined in less than a season, comes on to not save the day.
There are numbers to suggest how bad of a season this has been: With 10 losses, Manchester United have set a team record for losses in the Premier League era, but needing only 31 matches to do so. They’re pretty much on par with Moyes’ Everton from last season in terms of points per match, but Roberto Martinez has done better with a similar Everton side this year, still in the race for the 4th place, something Manchester United can’t even dream of anymore.
Maybe this learning experience will change Moyes into a manager capable of making something out of a Manchester United side that is shattered in almost every way. Just a point of thought before you finish this rant: Liverpool, a team many compare to Manchester United this season as an example of a club that fell off the high road and has struggled to return, have never looked this helpless against their biggest rivals, specifically in home matches, even during their worst seasons. A point of thought about those who appointed Moyes (well just one man did that), who had a terrible record against the big clubs as an Everton manager as well.