Manchester United fans, not just at their home in Old Trafford but everywhere else in the world are baying for David Moyes’s blood. All sorts of rumors are floating around and some of them could probably be true. With four losses out of six home games; including the one against Swansea two days ago that knocked them out of the FA Cup, United have reached the depths of despair. Every accused finger is pointing in the direction David Moyes. Since taking over from Sir Alex Ferguson, Moyes has not had many occasions for cheer. He cannot explain the woeful run by his team lately, and with blame for the mess squarely on his already heavy shoulders, it is time Moyes did something sooner rather than later. It is very difficult to explain why the United bosses did not buy in summer. For this too, they can tell you Moyes had taken charge from Sir Alex in June, so why he didn’t feel the need? Manchester United are the defending Premier League Champions; and with their performances, the whole idea of title defense has nearly gone out of the window. And to add insult to their injuries, they have now made a shock exit from FA Cup contention.
Some people say that the current breed of players in the United’s fold cannot combine to excel against other Clubs; so why blame Moyes alone? It is not to suggest that United doesn’t have talent. In reality, they have an overload of world-class players but somehow the combination is not working expectedly. And that is where Moyes can play a magician. The guy is experienced and not a raw kid. For him, football should be second nature, after several stints of coaching. If Manchester United has recruited him as a replacement for Sir Alex, he had better be good. He certainly didn’t have such a bad time at Everton, the Club he managed previously. The stark reality is that Moyes has been signed for a long six-year contract. So the bosses at United must have something in their mind. One of the easier inferences is; Moyes must work on the current squad, which has players with great individual talents. But from whatever is heard, such a thing doesn’t appear to be happening.
Moyes has to get into the real act at the earliest despite the recent losses and setbacks. There are some players in United who have their own minds. Moyes should talk to them heart-to-heart and one-to-one. The Club is paying them and they had better listen. Even if it meant staying out of contention for Champions League for a season, Moyes should still continue to build closer bonds with his players. Moyes is too experienced to miss the sight of those in his team, who fashion their lives on past glories. Such players cannot contribute much, but you cannot throw them out. There are at least two faces in the Man-United squad, whose football careers are nearly over. Veteran defender, Rio Ferdinand is one and he is close to announcing his retirement. The other is Patrice Evra.
In the home game on January 5, 2014, Swansea’s Wayne Routledge put his team ahead in the 12th minute. It was one of those delectable eye-catching sights, when Routledge moved fast and saw an on-rushing Anders Lindegaard, United’s Danish goalkeeper. All the Swansea forward had to do was to gently lob the ball over Lindegaard’s head and watch it travel royally into the goal. Four minutes later, Javier Hernandez nullified the advantage, by shooting a close-range volley from a perfect cross by Alexander Buttner. In the 76th minute, Rio Ferdinand was seen hobbling and had to be replaced by Fabio. But Fabio did not last long. 4 minutes into the field and Fabio was red-carded. Manchester United played with 10-players in the last 10 minutes. With the score still level at 1-1, Swansea took full advantage of the numerical superiority and played an attacking game. Just on the verge of the final whistle, Routledge found an unmarked Wilfried Bony, who produced a late header to make it 2-1 for Swansea.
Moyes couldn’t play Wayne Rooney on account injury and the explosive Persie is still unfit. Ferdidand had come back, after a six-match lay-off but the bang on his knee makes his future uncertain once again. The defeat against Swansea is a heavy blow to an already beleaguered David Moyes. With everyone glaring at him, Moyes could not have been in a bigger trap anytime in his coaching career. The current state of affairs at Man-United is a classic case of how individually brilliant players can be contrived to form a very mediocre team. And that is the reason, why Moyes has to take the blame squarely on his shoulders. With this kind of reputation, Man-United is moving in the category of those clubs, which the best players will not automatically opt for.