Follow It's Round and It's White on Facebook

How to repair Manchester United

Monday 21st April 2014
It is fair to say that Manchester United have endured a disappointing season under David Moyes. Approaching April they are languishing in seventh place, dozens of points worse off than they were 12 months ago. In that month, Sir Alex Ferguson guided Manchester United to a 20th league title in a 3-0 win over Aston Villa.

However, anybody filling the impossibly enormous boots of Ferguson would find the transition difficult. Handpicked by Ferguson and the club's directors, David Moyes, ‘The Chosen One', hasn't been the primary for United's demise.

The ageing squad that contains the likes of Ryan Giggs, Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra who performed so well last year have come unstuck, with possibly, the exception of Giggs. Nemanja Vidic has already jumped ship after nine successful years, moving to Inter Milan.

Expect more dead wood to leave. It has by no means been the best season for Patrice Evra and Rio Ferdinand and they should be on their way out—the former of which is playing like he has been on his way out for a very long time.

The exposure the other three defenders felt due to the Frenchman's laziness in not tracking back in the game against Olympiakos which United overturned the mountainous two-goal deficit from the first leg almost cost the Red Devils. Against a better team, let's say their Quarter Final opponents, Bayern Munich they would've got slaughtered due to their firepower from the wings.

It is a blessing in disguise that Patrice Evra is suspended for the opening leg against Bayern. He and Rafael are far too excitable in big game scenarios, we saw Rafael's weakness against Liverpool and Manchester City. Against Liverpool he was very lucky to stay on the pitch on countless occasions whilst he was at fault for the opening goal despite showing a glimmer of defensive capability by executing a last-ditch perfectly timed slide tackle on David Silva. He would balance that by diving in on the Spaniard which allowed Edin Dzeko to score the opener.

David Moyes will be looking bring in a few names to shore up the back line with the likes of Luke Shaw, Ezequiel Garay and Dante being served up as names to replace the mainstay of the older United defenders. With Dante signing a new contract at Bayern Munich you can chalk his name off.

For his poorer performances earlier in the season, Marouane Fellaini has finally adapted to the club on return from his wrist injury. The turgid performance from him at the Etihad has been replaced by solid, yet imperfect turn-outs lately. Cover for the midfield and a natural successor to the ageing Michael Carrick is also necessary and with reports of the almost-22 year old William Carvalho close to signing for the Old Trafford club in a £37 million deal.

The forward line is well marshalled but Moyes either needs to rejuvenate Javier Hernandez or find more cover, to take the weight off United if either Wayne Rooney or Robin van Persie are ruled out.

The tactics for the big games have been slightly askew this season with the latter home games against Liverpool and Manchester City, Moyes adapted a 4-3-3 to man the threat of Manchester City when that would've been more apt to combat the Liverpool midfield. Against Brendan Rodgers, Moyes put out a 4-2-3-1, got overrun in the middle and therefore Joe Allen turned into Zinedine Zidane purely down to the space in the middle of the field.

This is only down to experience and the pressure in the job, this problem will ebb away in the coming months when Moyes is more in tune with the job. He realised his mistake on Tuesday night, reverting to that trusty 4-2-3-1 and went for the match when his side were one down to the 2012 Premier League champions.

Moyes can't keep taking the blame, as he did on Tuesday, he got his tactics wrong but when he repaired his side at half-time they didn't show up in the second half either. He must instill the Ferguson hairdryer treatment to the passengers in the team, which at times, they could be overflowing out of the Old Trafford turf.

As time progresses, the Scot will grow into his job, and from this time of transition, both the fans, players and indeed the manager, will have learned a lot about his new team. Expect him to begin the surgery immediately.
Jake Doyle

Total articles: 19

Latest Premier League Articles