4 questions that fans want answers to from David Moyes

Rahul Joshi

When Sir Alex Ferguson announced to the footballing world that the end of last season would mark an end to his illustrious career, there were many questions that needed answering. However, THE question that sparked a major debate was, who will inherit Fergies throne? The answer – David Moyes.

His arrival at Old Trafford evoked a mixed reaction from the fans. While half of them agreed with the decision, the other half felt Moyes didn’t have the pedigree required to propel Manchester United to more league titles. 15 games into the league, United find themselves languishing on 9th position, an unusual sight.

Change is certain, it brings uncertainties.

Change is inevitable. For years, Old Trafford has been accustomed to welcoming their beloved Scotsman with cheers as he takes his place on the bench, chewing on the everlasting gum. But as they say, not everything is built to last. And Manchester United certainly did see the last of their most successful manager ever, Sir Alex Ferguson.

But change isn’t something that Manchester United fans are familiar with. Along with it comes uncertainty, questions and most importantly, expectations. And that’s precisely what David Moyes is experiencing as he plunges into the abyss of uncertainty. Though highly regarded for his managerial exploits with Everton and Preston North End, the weight of expectations that comes with inheriting Fergie’s throne is humongous.

When United finally secured their 20th league title, with a dominating 3-0 win against Aston Villa, Sir Alex Ferguson addressed the Old Trafford faithful for one last time as Manchester United manager. He said,” I’d also like to remind you that when we had bad times here, the club stood by me, all my staff stood by me, the players stood by me. Your job now is to stand by our new manager. That is important.”

But the fans aren’t happy with what they’ve seen in the very little time that Moyes has had at the helm of Manchester United, with a few asking for his sack. The question on everyone’s mind, after some mind-boggling team selections, substitutions and a quite transfer window is- What’s going on, Mr Moyes?

In this article, I shall try my best to answer some of the questions that United fans have directed towards David Moyes.

Formation dilemma

Manchester United, under Sir Alex Ferguson stuck to the 4-4-2 formation. Wing play has been one of the strongest aspects of the United attack. With dominant wingers such as Kanchelskis, Sharpe, Giggs, Nani and Ronaldo, United boasted one of the most attacking set of wingers that were second to none. However, with misfiring wingers, such as an out of sorts Nani, Valencia and most certainly, a confused Ashley Young, David Moyes had no other option but to switch to the 4-2-3-1 formation. The purchase of Marouane Fellaini only suited this change in formation as he would sit deep as a defensive midfielder, quite different from his role at Everton. However, the change to this formation has seen the opposition come up against a toothless Manchester United.

Whilst his time at the helm, Sir Alex Ferguson often had to make decisions that didn’t please the fans. Being the shrewd operator that he is, his quick and confident decision making made him the successful manager that he is today. When Arsenal challenged his legacy in 2003, he was quick to react with the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney. When United lost the title to City on goal difference, he jumped right in to sign the top scorer of the Premier League, Robin van Persie. In the words of Sir Alex himself, “You know when you’re managing a club like Manchester United, you’ll have to make decisions which may not be favourite with the fans, but you know you’re doing it right.”

So if David Moyes feels 4-2-3-1 is THE formation for Manchester United, he should start working towards it. He should start asserting his authority, and should start building his tactics in and around this formation. Just give him the time he needs, and he will deliver.

Shinji Kagawa:

Shinji Kagawa’s arrival at Old Trafford led to a sigh of relief from the fans as they finally had a playmaker of their own. Though his first season at the club was earmarked with injuries, it didn’t quite go according to plan. Into his second season, things are taking a turn for the worse, and not the better. Kagawa is on the fringes in David Moyes’ plans.

His lack of playing time has raised the ire of the United fans who believe that Manchester United aren’t really making use of Kagawa’s expertise. Many online campaigns, most notably #FreeShinji all but summarizes the anger of United fans who have seen a lack of invention in the center of the park.

His situation at Manchester United is similar to what Steven Pienaar faced at Everton, under David Moyes. Pienaar was thought to be a playmaker, a number 10. But he was a mere facilitator. Someone who can find space in a dead ball situation, someone who can spray passes, and more importantly, someone who can handle the ball under pressure.

In his early days at Everton, Pienaar was made to play in the center of the park. However, his best position, after years of experimentation turned out to be the left hand side. His devastating partnership with Leighton Baines was a positive one for Everton. He would drift into the center of the park, which would give Baines acres of space to run into.

Kagawa, like Pienaar is a facilitator. He doesn’t ask for the ball as a no. 10, he doesn’t have exhilarating pace, nor does he have the brute strength to get past defenders, but what he does have is quick feet and quick thinking, similar to Andreas Iniesta.

Infact, Japan’s no. 10 is CSKA Moskwa’s playmaker, Keisuke Honda. Honda is seen by many as the Japanese ‘Rooney’. Kagawa and Honda play in the hole behind the striker, it’s their deadly partnership that brings Japan their goals. If Kagawa can create a similar partnership with Wayne Rooney at United, it would open up the floodgates.

Kagawa can be a centrally minded left winger, but it’s all possible with nothing but patience from the fans, and Kagawa himself.

Transfer incompetency

The summer transfer window was nothing but a disaster for Manchester United, who had none but themselves to blame. From showing dreams of Thiago Alcatara, Fabregas, Ander Hererra playing in United’s midfield, with Ezequiel Garay and Leighton Baines commanding the defense, and Robert Lewandowski partnering Robin van Persie in attack, to the disappointment of signing just Marouane Fellaini, who has so far not lived up to his expectations, is nothing but disappointing.

During our transfer mishap, Manchester City signed world class players in the likes of Negredo, Fernandinho and Jesus Navas, Chelsea got themselves Willian, and Arsenal pulled off a major coup by landing Mesut Ozil.

This is where the blame game starts, with all the fingers pointed towards a hapless David Moyes. During the Sir Alex era, it was almost as if he was the ultimate head of the club, with the CEO merely assisting him in his voyage. The fans have be accustomed to it, and so are blatantly blaming Moyes of the transfer window madness.

At Manchester United, Moyes is under Ed Woodward, and the controversial owners, the Glazers. If at all, Ed Woodward must be blamed for the mishandling of the transfers.

Don’t be plastic, get behind your team

At Everton, David Moyes was accountable to a fan base of a few million, but at Manchester United, his critics have increased to a humongous total of 659 million! And so every wrong decision of his, every step is in close scrutiny. Just imagine the amount of pressure the Scotsman is in! The pressure of taking over from Sir Alex, the pressure of answering to billions, the pressure of maintaining the tradition is immense, isn’t it?

Call me bold, but if it was anyone else in place of David Moyes, Manchester United would have found themselves in a similar position. Right now, the manager, the team needs YOU, it’s fans more than anything else. So don’t be plastic, and support the club you love. If you don’t support them during these rough times, you have no right of supporting them when they are victorious.

Last but not the least, I blindly trust Sir Alex Ferguson with all my heart, and I bet Manchester United fans also do the same. Isn’t it wrong if we decide not to trust the guy handpicked by Ferguson to carry forward his legacy?

Patience is a virtue, either be patient, or stare oblivion right in the face.

Edited by Staff Editor


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