Talking of transition and fan support is great, but there comes a point where you can’t lie and hide behind players anymore. Manchester United knew that the first season with David Moyes wasn’t going to be smooth sailing, but no one expected a catastrophic start to the season such as this, with Adnan Januzaj thrust into a bigger role than he’s actually ready for while Robin van Persie comes back from injury too soon for his own good and plays 90 minutes out of position.
It’s all coming back at Moyes now. Not just his behavior, but the arrogant approach of a club that thought replacing Alex Ferguson with a manager who has never won anything his life will just settle itself. No major signings – only one expensive one that’s turning out to be a major flop, and Moyes coming in, replacing the entire backroom staff with one of his own, even though he clearly needed some championship experience.
The loss to Newcastle was another example of everything that’s gone wrong for Moyes as a manager, and the poor effort displayed by the players themselves – the same players who had the title wrapped up after Christmas a year ago. It’s never just one side’s fault, but it’s always easier to seek out the manager. A team can’t replace an entire squad, but if things do get bad enough there won’t be mistaking the villain of this whole situation.
A lineup that keeps changing for 15 consecutive matches. Yes, Wayne Rooney was suspended and Shinji Kagawa had to get his stomach pumped for a weird reason of eating too much food. Moyes hasn’t used the same defensive pairing since October, and looks like someone who is simply winging it, and improvising solutions out of his sleeve, hoping that something catches on. Giving Wilfied Zaha a chance in a match with so much pressure to come back from behind is something you simply don’t do with young players, but Moyes hasn’t left himself too many choices.
Robin van Persie just wasn’t on the pitch, despite playing for 90 minutes, and so was his striker partner, Javier Hernandez. There was no creativity for Manchester United, who continue to struggle with the same problems since the beginning of the season. If Wayne Rooney isn’t on the pitch, nothing happens for the team. Van Persie isn’t a #10, while the constant switching between wings leaves both Nani and Januzaj in a place they can’t be effective in. By the time Moyes realized that it was too late, and the only thing United could create was an offside goal by Robin van Persie.
One of the problems with Moyes is it seems like he’s oblivious to some of the problems. He keeps talking about luck, and mentioning the players. He never says anything about mistakes he’s making, trying to draw some fire onto himself. There are many who believe the players are quite close to quitting on him, which wouldn’t be surprising. He keeps blaming them for every loss or bad result, as the team has now gone four matches without a win, losing two straight at home.
Talking about luck and being in the championship race when relegation zone is closer than the top spot just seems delusional, maybe even a bit sarcastic. Without a sharp change in the decision process, all of Moyes’ talk about luck isn’t going to help get Manchester United out of the mud they’re stuck in, and won’t end a very real crisis for a club that no longer has the man who was an expert of getting it out of them.