When Ashley Young keeps lowering the bar for cheating and diving and Marouane Fellaini has yet another awful performance for Manchester United, Robin van Persie should be one of the players David Moyes trusts with his eyes closed. However, the Dutchman proved just as lacking as some of his teammates.
Moyes was pleased with the ability of his players in the 0-0 draw with Real Sociedad, and he’s probably right to a certain extent. Manchester United got the better chances, and managed to prevent any prolonged minutes of pressure from the home side, having a better match when they visited the Old Trafford two weeks ago.
However, there are some things he simply cannot allow to continue, and one of them is Ashley Young playing for his club. Both Moyes and previously Alex Ferguson talked to the media about their own player being somewhat of a diver, and having to fix the error of his ways. Young gets benched for a while, comes back, and we’re back to normal. Nothing changes. This time it was the slightest of touches on shirt that sent him hurtling to the grass. What does Moyes have to say now? With Young bringing absolutely nothing to the team except for unjust penalty kicks which do create somewhat of a perception problem about what this club is all about, not to mention his quality as a player, there’s really no reason for him to carry on playing.
Marouane Fellaini is another issue, sent off for a second yellow card. According to Moyes it was quite harsh of a decision. The actual second yellow did come for a very soft foul, but Fellaini should have avoided it. He was going into tackles recklessly all match long, and probably should have earned that second yellow card earlier. Moyes, always a man that’s happy with away draws, should have let Phil Jones come on the pitch earlier for Fellaini, who has yet to put in a decent performance for his new team.
Van Persie wasn’t bad, but showed once again how frustrating he can be. He didn’t get too many chances, but those he did reach were must-score situations. The first was from an Ashley Young cross, as Van Persie rocketed the ball from very close range to the post. The second came a few minutes later, against courtesy of Young in the form of a penalty kick. Once again, Van Persie hit the post.
There are those who suggest that Manchester United weren’t knocked out last season against Real Madrid because of the Nani red card – it was because of Robin van Persie missing too many comfortable opportunities at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Be it the truth or just exaggeration, this isn’t the first time the talented scorer has matches in which nothing goes right for him. Javier Hernandez added a terrible miss of his own, but what can you expect from a player who is on a yo-yo string for Moyes since he arrived? Manchester United are improving, but rotation and personnel problems are denying them fulfilling their potential.