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Man United woes are not all Moyes' fault

When a worldwide football giant (Manchester United) struggles and looks out of sorts each time it plays without its best one or two players (Wayne Rooney or /and Van Persie) the solution or culprit is never just a simple name or act.

As Chelsea, led be a rejuvenated Samuel Eto'o, put three goals past a disjointed Man United side without Rooney, I could not help but not feel sorry for the Man U die hard fans (my close friends especially) but also wondered what the solution could be to stop this free fall by this giant of world and English Football!

Manchester United are in seventh position on the English Premier League table (a position they have almost never occupied at this stage of the season) ; 14 points behind league leaders Arsenal; six points short from Champions league qualification ; are not agressively active in the transfer market (10 days to the closure of the mid season transfer market) ; are close to elimination from the Carling Cup by lowly Sunderland (having lost the first leg) ; and were eliminated from the prestigious FA cup by relatively lowly Swansea!

What is the most pressing "virus" holding United down? Do they stand a chance to turn their fortunes around this season (2013/2014)? Who do the fans and analysts blame and is it justified?


Most on social media feel David Moyes is not the right fellow to usher in the winning transition over Sir Alex Ferguson. This is maybe true but a bit unfair.

A coach/manager is as good as the materials at his disposal, the ones he uses and how they are used.

The ease with which Eto'o, though a class player, controlled the ball and waltzed through surrounding Man United players before slotting the ball into the net for the opening goal is more to do with the mental weakness or failings by the concerned players.

However, you could be right in pointing out that the manager should have an influence on the players’ attitude on the pitch. For such a top game versus Chelsea, top players should need little motivation to be aggresive.

We could, however, fault the Manager in his player transfers politics during the off season and now!

The players?

Though they won the league last season under Ferguson, Man United struggled in Europe for the last two seasons of Sir Alex Ferguson’s reign! They simply came short and were eliminated early, not going past the group stages of the Champions League. The problem was there then but not so flagrant as it is today.

The look on the face of Sir Ferguson at the final game of the 2011 Champions League (Man United were simply outclassed 3-1 by Pep Guardiola's Barcelona) said it all.

There and then it was clear United needed a cleaning out and rejuvenation but the opposite happened. Why? I leave you to judge.

With all due respect to the legendary senior players in the Man United fold, something major is wrong if a top team features two, three or four players over the ages of 30 in its starting line-up. It is just outright counterproductive.

The reserve bench of Man United on paper is mouthwatering but on the pitch (when they come on) it is something else.

Man United need young and fresh blood and hungry new players to change the tide. No-one lives forever and no-one can play forever.

Adnan Janusaj is a good example of the look of the future Man United players.

The board of directors?

Many have questioned the wisdom behind the board of directors allowing Sir Ferguson to influence the choice of his successor and his continued presence at the club at over 70 years of age, plus the offering of David Moyes a six-year contract.

For all the titles Pep Guardiola won with Barcelona and his status as a confirmed world class top coach, Bayern Munich offered him a three-year contract only.

Did this act provoke a negative spiral of events? I personally think so. The message it sent out to the actors was definitely a negative one and it is not easy managing top players if you have never been there yourself as player or coach. I know there are very few exceptions but they are very few.

With Manchester United in need of Champions League funds, the board of directors needs to act now.

My Take

Dear United fans. In summary, all hope is not lost yet, though Man United would need a miracle to conquer the league title this season. The fourth place, synonymous with Champions League football, is still attainable but fewer slip-ups are advised.

Defensively, United need to go into the transfer market and buy something solid (see what the purchase of Mesut Otzil by Arsenal has provoked), just as an improvement of players’ medical care would be a Godsend.

Imagine the impact good transfer market transactions, coupled with a return to form and the good health of Van Persie and Wayne Rooney, would have on Man United's fortunes.

The race against time and points is on. We wish Man United all the best, though Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and the resurgent Tottenham will have other ideas.

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