When David Moyes took over from Sir Alex Ferguson many believed it would be business as usual – teams would come to Old Trafford expecting to loose, Robin Van Persie would be the leagues leading goal scorer and the team would be top of the table and 6 points clear by Christmas.
But something has gone horribly wrong, instead we find a team closer on points to the relegation zone than they are to the top of the table, have lost more games so far than they did for the whole of last season, goals are not coming easily and it is Arsenal who are 5 points clear at the top of the table going into the busy Christmas schedule.
Manchester Utd’s run of results over the past few weeks (22 games played: won 11, drawn 6 and lost 5) resembles a house slowly being destroyed by a wrecking ball, each week more bricks tumble –
Saturday’s defeat was the first by Newcastle at Old Trafford since 1972. The home defeat to Everton three days earlier was Evertons’ first win at Utd in 21 years and West Bromwich Albions 2-1 victory in September was their first win over the Red Devils since 1978.
I watched Utd play Newcastle last weekend and they were truly awful and so flat the walls were jealous. And yet David Moyes insists they can still win the title, despite being 13 points behind the leaders and playing the type of football a Sunday league side would be ashamed of. After the Newcastle game Mr Moyes had to go through the obligatory post match interview with the BBC –
Mr Moyes Brave Face – “I think the game against Everton was very similar to the one against Newcastle,” he explained. “If we had come out on top in both games I don’t think anybody would have said an awful lot about it.
Reality says – Really, you think. But there was not a hope in hells chance Utd were going to come out on top against either side.
Mr Moyes Brave Face – “We have to play better, pass it better, make more chances and take more opportunities.
Reality says – At this stage they couldn’t get any worse, the passing is woeful and the team looks devoid of any ideas in front of goal.
Mr Moyes Brave Face – “We were needing something to go for us, to give us a bit of confidence. Their goal was a little bit fortunate. Patrice Evra hits the ball against the back of Moussa Sissoko’s head and he goes through to cut it back.”
Reality says – That may be, but Patrice Evra was left for dead by an attacker who was awake, made the most of some slack defending, who read the game and took the chance beautifully.
Mr Moyes Brave Face – “The United fans have been great,” Moyes added. “Great to me, and great to the club.”
Reality says – And they are great, but when you see sections of the crowd leaving in droves with ten minutes of the game left to play, one would feel their patience will soon start wearing thin.
Don’t get me wrong I like David Moyes, I really do, he is a good strong manager, but I think he took on arguably the hardest job in football and as a result he is becoming the master of putting on a brave face in front of the camera.
In reality though, there is something wrong at the club, the players look disinterested, they are short of ideas; the midfield is one of the worst in the league – all from the same team that won the title by a huge margin last season. For Mr Moyes and his boys, they need to start facing reality and fast – their shield of invincibility has gone, Old Trafford is no longer the fortress it used to be, Utd will not win a trophy this season, the team are in a dog fight to qualify for Europe and there will be more bad results to come before things start improving – as a Manchester Utd fan, its time to start facing reality.