Who knows how many crosses Manchester United would have ended up with if the referee wouldn’t have blown his whistle? Setting new records aside, another disappointing result shows once more that David Moyes just isn’t the manager to get something special out of Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata.
Drawing 2-2 with Fulham just wasn’t what this team needed as they continue to drift further away from not just a Champions League spot, but also a chance to play in Europe next season. They’ve been knocked out of both cup competitions and realistically, their chances of winning the Champions League or even making it past the quarterfinals aren’t that great.
If this draw with Fulham was an isolated incident, David Moyes would be getting a pass. The Red Devils had 31 shots at goal, nine on target, with Maarten Stekelenburg doing an excellent job against incredible pressure. Fulham scored twice from only six chances, mostly thanks to some abysmal defending from the Manchester United defense. But this isn’t the first nor second time we’ve seen this happen to this team, which points to a deeper problem.
In 2014, Manchester United have won only 7 points out of a possible 18, which has now pushed them nine points adrift from the 4th place, which includes a poor record for a team with these kind of players and aspirations, winning only six matches out of 16. No matter how much David Moyes talks about needing change, patience or a bit more luck, this season is something that didn’t show up even in Manchester United’s worst nightmares when they made him their appointment.
Moyes talks about improving from time to time, but usually it’s the same old BS about playing well, deserving to win and needing luck. Not changing his lineups which continue to be ill-suited for the players he has on the team and not changing the style, as Manchester United set a new record for crosses in one match with 81 (only 18 of them reached the target).
Yes, a team playing with Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata resort to crosses, as Ashley Young seems like the main playmaker in this show. Why Young? Why is Mata on the right wing? Why is Adnan Januzaj, who is clearly a better player at the moment than Young, reduced to bench roles, coming on in the 60th minute, more or less?
There’s no denying Manchester United players are to blame for this as well. It can’t be all the manager, and the mental softness Moyes spoke about after the match is on them as well. However, when so many things are wrong all over the pitch without the manager really trying to do any significant changes, it’s impossible to deny that the man in charge has at least a bit to do with it. At this rate the team won’t have anything to play for by the end of the month, and Moyes will be free to plan his changes in the summer. He just needs to worry about not doing too bad of a job in the remaining 13 matches, or he might not have the mandate to make these changes.