Losses in the English League Cup usually don’t create too much background noise at Manchester United, but when it’s added to the previous losses in the league and the FA Cup while David Moyes seems to be hounded by the media but supported by his own fans, there’s definitely an aura of crisis in the air.
One of the weird things is the difference in what global Manchester United fans think – the ones who don’t go to matches and love the club from afar, compared to the ones who actually occupy Old Trafford for most of the season. Both will agree the team’s play and especially results have been abysmal so far, but the big contrast comes to the Moyes factor – those from far away lands want him to go, and always did. He’s getting a lot more support, or at least patient heads, from closer to home.
The loss to Sunderland, isolated, isn’t that bad. Manchester United played terribly, don’t get me wrong, but a first leg loss with an away goal isn’t the worst thing that can happen. However, considering how poorly Manchester United have been at home this season, it’s far from guaranteed they’ll be able to turn things around.
Without the FA Cup and the Champions League still more than a month away, Moyes only cares about the league. Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney were probably fit enough to put in a few minutes at the Stadium of Light, but there are bigger things at stake than the League Cup this season. Maybe the bigger goal is building a team that runs well in the future; one hand picked by Moyes and fits his style and football philosophy, but Manchester United can’t completely ignore this season.
One of the problems for Moyes is that he doesn’t have a go to player when Van Persie and Rooney are out. Lets not forget, Manchester United weren’t exactly tearing up the Premier League this season when the two were playing, so it’s not only a matter of injuries. Adnan Januzaj, for a moment, looked like that despite his age he’d be able to be that player for Moyes, but as you’d expect from an 18-year old, the ups & downs come unexpectedly. He still is probably the best player on the team; at least he was on the poor performance during the loss to Sunderland, but it’s far from enough.
The midfield looks horrendous. Simply no creativity, and no ability to push forward and create something. The balls keep going to the sides, in hope of Januzaj doing something. Cleverley has been this disappointing all season, but Michael Carrick shouldn’t be dragged down into the mud with him. It seems that all the praise heaped on him during his injury was for nothing, as he’s no better than the rest of the players that are under-performing so far this season.
Moyes complained about the referee after the match for the penalty kick he gave Sunderland. For the first time this season, he was right. But the rest of his words are just a poor attempt to make it seem like once again, non of this is his fault. Moyes isn’t the big bad guy in this one, but he’s certainly part of a failing team, and taking the easy way out, which is attacking the referees, won’t help Manchester United get out of the situation they’re in.