Following Tuesday’s humbling defeat against Olympiakos, Manchester United look odds on not to win a trophy this season, in a real horror first season for recently appointed manager David Moyes.
League inconsistency and players not performing in big games have been just two of the reasons for United’s current blip.
The Red Devils currently occupy 6th place in the Premier League, and look like missing out on Europe next season all together.
Recently retired footballer, and former United academy player Robbie Savage has listed ten mistakes that Moyes has made during his relatively short time at Old Trafford to date.
1- Moyes hasn’t been himself.
Savage states that Moyes has struggled at Old Trafford, due to the fact that he “is not being himself” due to that he is fearful of a backlash from disgruntled United supporters, who are already calling for his head.
Savage has also argued that Moyes had done what is best for the supporters, hence not substituting Robin Van Persie in the recent home defeat against Newcastle United.
2- “Bust in the big games”
United have really struggled against the ‘top teams’ in this current season, with Moyes’ side winning just one game, from nine games played against the rest of the top six.
Defeats against Tottenham, Everton, Liverpool, Chelsea, and a humbling 4-1 defeat against arch rivals City have all been major concerns, to the supporters, and Moyes alike.
3- No transfer tenacity.
Moyes spent big in the summer to try and attempt to overhaul the squad left by Ferguson, spending a staggering amount on Maurone Fellaini.
Fellaini joined for £26 million on transfer deadline day, and has failed to live up to expectations at Old Trafford since his move from Everton.
Yes United captured a very good player in Juan Mata, but the failure to land Cesc Fabregas from Barcelona has had an effect on that squad, as the former Arsenal man may have been the difference.
Moyes midfield has been poor beyond belief, with Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverley, Darren Fletcher, Shinji Kagawa and Fellaini have only scored two league goals between them this season.
4- Why goodbye.
United have let arguably their best centre back in Nemanja Vidic leave in the summer on a free transfer, with Inter Milan tying up a deal to take him to Serie A.
Vidic, in the games he has played this season, has been a rock in the heart of an ageing defence.
And with Rio Ferdinand all set to either retire or head off to the United States, Moyes may be regretting the option of letting Vicic leave, in the long term.
Patrice Evra is also set to leave Old Trafford for pastures new, with a host of clubs on the continent interested, after Moyes signalled his intentions to sign Luke Shaw from Southampton in the summer.
5-No starting XI Consistency.
Moyes’ beleaguered have really struggled in this certain area, which has probably conflicted to their current situation.
The United boss has failed to do what he did so well at Everton, and that is stick with the current team, at the current time.
6- A mixed up mentality.
Old Trafford used to be a real intimidating fortress in the Ferguson era, with sides bowing down to United’s sheer class.
However, this year, United have struggled at Old Trafford, with defeats against West Bromwich Albion, Everton, Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United, to name a few.
Moyes’ under-performing men even struggled to a draw against Southampton.
United are no longer really attacking teams at home, with the red devils more than happy to sit back and defend.
7- The Media.
The media have also been a real problem for Moyes and his squad this season, with him and his players scape-goats to various tabloid Newspapers, with Media sources hounding upon every slight weakness that Moyes may show.
“I didn’t see it coming,” is how Moyes responded to defeat at Olympiakos.
Under Sir Alex Ferguson, who somewhat controlled the Media circus to a point, were he would ban Journalist’s from Old Trafford on a regular basis.
Moyes’ body language and mannerisms cut him as a lonely figure during interviews.
Ferguson also seemed to have a certain swagger in interviews, spewing his views on one topic, something that Moyes has failed to grasp as of yet.
8- Changes in the backroom.
The departures of Mike Phelan, Rene Meulensteen and Ed Steele have all had consequences upon United’s bizarre current situation.
The trio had a wealth of experience behind them, with each of them coaching for several years, another thing Moyes failed to grasp, when he appointed the un-proven Phil Neville.
Meulensteen has since been sacked by Fulham in recent weeks, however, he would have been a very good coach under Moyes at United.
9- Tactical problems.
Moyes has somewhat failed to recreate the tactics that Ferguson employed so well to his squad, with clubs treating United like any other team, and working them out on a regular basis, due to their constant policy of the same tactics.
Former Fulham manager and current defender Dan Burn said it was easy to play against United, during their recent 2-2 draw at Old Trafford.
“Their game plan was straightforward. They put crosses in from wide angles. We defended it well.
“I do think that a few teams have come here with a different approach. Teams have come to Old Trafford and got something.
“Teams are thinking that there is a chink in United’s armour. We set out as everyone can see, we made it very difficult for them.
“They have some problems of their own. They kept creating chances and crosses but we defended fantastically well. You think at the end all the hard work will slip away. But at the end, for Darren Bent to score that equaliser, it felt like a winner.”
Midfield inconsistency has also been a problem for United this season, with Tom Cleverley and Michael Carrick unable to start a real firm partnership.
10- He is NOT Sir Alex Ferguson.
Many United supporters presumed that Moyes would be a success early on, with the majority expecting the Scot to continue the work Fergie had done.
Ferguson won 13 Premier League titles during more than two decades in charge at Old Trafford, aswell as FA Cups, and the famous treble of 1999.
By Ben Reardon