Championships aren’t won this early in the season, but there’s nothing about Manchester United under David Moyes that radiates anything remotely close to a title, as the over reliance on Robin van Persie continues to be demonstrated with every time he doesn’t start a match or isn’t completely fit to give his best.
Like other managers new to their jobs, Moyes doesn’t have his starting XI just yet,but his experimenting and rotation using, something he isn’t too experienced in considering he never managed a Champions League side, seems to be doing more harm than good, from wrong selections to misusing his players on the pitch.
Obviously, this isn’t all on Moyes. With the talent Manchester United have, dispatching of a so-so West Brom side at Old Trafford doesn’t require supreme managerial guidance or some tactical ingenuity. However, at this point, with United struggling to score from open play since the opening week and finding it very difficult to find the net at all, the decisions the manager makes might be doing more harm than good at this point.
Both Nani and Shinji Kagawa got to start after being useful enough in the League cup or simply not being as bad as Ashley Young or Antonio Valencia have been this season. However, Nani continues to be a player that doesn’t quite get it, despite everyone knowing what he should be doing to earn more minutes and more praise. For every unique pass he provides, two useless and dead-end dribbles come as well, ending with a shot that is nowhere near necessary or helpful.
Kagawa continues to play on the left or inside left, whichever your prefer. David Moyes doesn’t want an attacking midfielder, or simply prefers giving Rooney the job behind the striker. While Rooney scores from free kicks, there’s not fluidity to United’s play, and Moyes will be better off if he used Rooney in the wider position, which he is perfectly capable of preforming, while Kagawa sits in front of the midfield.
Throwing in Robin van Persie and Marouane Fellaini to save the day against a West Brom side that didn’t only defend well but completely outplayed Manchester United during the second half was some desperate moves; one he had to make, but didn’t help him at all. When Van Persie isn’t healthy, he doesn’t really add anything to United’s play except creating false hope about the chances of him doing something. Javier Hernandez didn’t do much better before him, but a healthy Hernandez is someone you want on the pitch for the final minutes of matches.
Marouane Fellaini still hasn’t found himself with his new club. He isn’t quite sure of what his positioning should be, and often plays in a much too advanced role that takes away from his efficiency and completely negates the reason for which he was brought on.
Moyes is learning more and more, but some things were obvious from the moment he arrived: Anderson should never wear a Manchester United shirt again, while it’s impossible to play with Phil Jones as right back. Not having Nemanja Vidic on the pitch makes Rio Ferdinand look old and close to useless as well.
There’s still time to fix all that’s gone wrong early in the season, but one interesting point is Manchester United not being able to come back from behind like it did so many times last season. Without a healthy Robin van Persie, this team simply isn’t very special.