Manchester United’s Premier League title hopes seemingly ended after the 3-1 defeat to Chelsea, but the Red Devils still have a chance to regain some of their pride by lifting the Capital One Cup trophy this season. United fell to a 2-1 defeat against Sunderland in the competition but given their reputation of comeback kings there is more than a slim chance of the Old Trafford club overrunning the defeat. Here are 5 things David Moyes must do to eliminate the Black Cats from the competition:
1. Start the game with Chicharito:
The game against Chelsea was an eye opener in many ways, and one of them was that Hernandez should have been in the starting line-up at Stamford Bridge. The absence of Wayne Rooney and RVP will certainly hurt United, but their Mexican striker can be relied upon to do some damage against the opposition. Danny Welbeck is a brilliant striker and has been in top form this season but lacks the poaching qualities of Hernandez which will come in extremely handy for United in Wednesday’s game. The “little pea” instantly opened up United’s attacking against Chelsea and managed to score his eight goal against them in all competitions on Sunday. Hernandez is exactly the striker United need if they want to emerge as winners against Gus Poyet’s team on Wednesday.
2. Allow Kagawa to start in his Number.10 role:
David Moyes must allow Shinji to operate in his role behind the striker because that’s where the midfielder is at his destructive best. Kagawa was allowed to operate in his usual role against Bayer Leverkusen, a team he is familiar with due to his Bundesliga experience with Dortmund, and managed to successfully open them up and create loads of chances for his team-mates in the 5-0 win. Kagawa is just beginning to adjust to the Premier League and giving him more chances will help his cause. The Japanese playmaker was ineffective in the winger role against Swansea but when he was shifted into his familiar central midfield role he successfully changed the game. The Japanese playmaker has a good chance to blossom since Wayne Rooney and RVP are absent for quite a while and should take full advantage of the opportunities given to him.
3. Let Januzaj loose against the opposition:
The teenage winger has been United’s shining light this season and is expected to carry the torch forward on Wednesday. The 18-year-old was brilliant in the first round against the Black Cats and even scored a goal which was unfortunately disallowed by the officials. The Belgian was extremely dangerous in the match against Chelsea, whose defenders found him too hot to handle. Januzaj has fond memories of playing against Sunderland as he introduced himself to the world by scoring a brilliant brace against the them. Moyes should build the team around Januzaj, who will be a key player and a potential suitor to the famous Manchester United number 7 shirt in upcoming seasons.
4. Reorganize the defense:
Manchester United’s defense was extremely sloppy in the game against Chelsea and need a massive shaking if they are to improve.The Red Devils back four were literally sleeping when Samuel Eto’o slammed two of his three goals past them. This wasis one game where the defense was entirely at fault for the loss and not David Moyes, who has been a fall guy this season. I won’t be surprised if Moyes makes a complete change to the back four in the game against Sunderland. Alexander Buttner will most likely start the game for the Red Devils in the Capital One Cup. The Dutchman is a capable left-back but has been caught out of position quite a few times but its a problem that can be fixed. The 24-year-old is quite a good attacking player and can support the attack on Wednesday. Chris Smalling may start at the heart of defense in place of Evans who was horrific against Chelsea on Sunday. The Englishman has improve since last season and has even filled in for Rafael as the team’s right back on some occasions. Rafael should start the game despite his rashness against Chelsea as the Brazilian is incredible at shutting down threats when he is in full form.
5. Keep a positive attitude:
Even though there is some gloom around Old Trafford due to the team’s recent results fans should never give up hope. Manchester United have shown everyone that they are capable of coming out of even the bleakest situations as their fighting spirit is something that can never be taken away from them. The Red Devils supporters showed their support to David Moyes at Stamford Bridge after his team suffered a 3-1 loss which is an extremely good sign. It was crystal clear that things would get a lot worse before they get better and the fans will have to be patient for the dawn to arrive on the horizon. Sir Alex had some extremely dark days as United’s manager but he came out of it as a winner. Moyes will do the same thing as the losses and frustration will only make him a more determined and better manager.Published 20 Jan 2014, 18:05 IST