Blog by: Ishan
“In Moyes, we trust.” Or do we?
As the final whistle marked Manchester United’s loss to West Bromwich Albion at home, the mood at the Old Trafford stadium struck a solemn chord. The faintest of disapproval, if any, in the hearts of the United supporters was unmistakably directed towards one man on the sidelines.
For that man, it had been yet another bad day at office. Disappointment was pretty apparent in that prematurely wrinkled face as the pale lips arched to expose the tongue that brushed them. That is David Moyes for you, as austere in his attire as in his demeanour.
It is extremely challenging to fill up the enormous boots of someone of the stature of Sir Alex Ferguson, especially when you have been chosen for the job by the man himself. Success never comes easy, and winning is not a walk in the park. Football, with its plethora of uncertainties, adds to the woes of a new manager.
Yet, it is of acute importance to believe in yourself and stay firm on your judgments and decisions. Steeped in an uphill task of managing arguably the best club in England, David Moyes is doing exactly that. Firm and unbothered, he seems confident of his own set of plans and prefers to execute them in his own style.
The average United fan, however, cannot evade the reminiscences of Sir Alex’s methods as he finds Moyes’s tactics strange and alien. He seeks some familiarity in the post-Ferguson era and ends up disappointed. The techniques have changed; the methods have changed; the whole approach is different.
One speaks about the individuality of Moyes and his eagerness in exploring independence when he pairs up Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez right at the front ruling out Robin van Persie, or when he prefers to rest Shinji Kagawa despite repeated suggestions from experts to play him in the field. But when this individuality fails to yield results, dissatisfaction creeps in and the manager is bound to feel the heat.
Ever since his joining the club from Everton, Moyes has always been looked upon with a pale tinge of disapproval. Anyone who had been aware of Wayne Rooney’s relationship with the Scot had been apprehensive regarding the tensions and the probable cold war inside the team.
The panic of compromising their lead striker filled them with a feeling of trepidation and insecurity and the former manager of the Merseyside club was hailed as the sole reason.
Succeeding Sir Alex was always going to be a tough ask as every enthralling victory or every disillusioning defeat was sure to invite comparisons and impetuous assertions. Statistical analysis and constant scrutiny were always on the cards with the media highlighting every move and investigating every plan in the most detailed fashion.
On-field actions provoked a number of off-field ones and dealing with all of them with a straight face is a daunting task that Moyes seems to be specializing at.
While his primary focus remains on moulding the team in his own lines of attack, Moyes also needs to take care of the gigantic fan base of the Red Devils which is relentless in cheering and shouting behind the team every time the opponent’s defence is shattered.
That he has failed to solve the midfield conundrum which he inherited from Ferguson, is a worrying factor indeed. Moyes’s actions have been in total contrast to the interest of the United supporters, concerning the Kagawa issue. It is evident that the midfield has lost its viciousness following the retirement of Paul Scholes. Moyes’s mechanical style of football hasn’t aided in boosting its sharpness at all.
This is where the play-maker in Shinji Kagawa comes in. As a footballer with a lithe physique, Kagawa’s silky passing and delicate touches weave magic as he dribbles his marker into a false sense of security before unleashing a stupefying shot towards the box.
The unique adaptability of the Asian to various situations, makes him an instant favourite among the crowd and with his agility, he is sure to provide versatility to Moyes’s team, which seems to lack creativity.
While Kagawa holds the key to Moyes’s on-field woes, he is the solution to his off-field issues too. Playing the crowd-favourite Kagawa regularly, therefore, has got to be Moyes’s plan from now on.
While almost all big clubs were brutally active in this summer, which witnessed some of the biggest transfers, United’s idleness incurred the wrath of supporters and experts alike.
While signing the much required Thiago Alcantara would have been excellent, not only for the distressing predicament of the midfield, but also for the Moyes-United fan relationship, his ‘unsatisfactory’ decision to settle with Marauone Fellaini from his previous club raised quite a few eyebrows.
That Fellaini hasn’t been at the zenith of his form in the first six matches that resulted in three losses, thereby marking United’s worst beginning in the Premier League era, has made it all the more complicated for the Scot.
With the amount of discontent elevating among the United aficionados regarding certain decisions of the manager, the latter has to remain calm and ensure that his tactics fall into place.
While another defeat in the next game would provide the ideal platform for a supporters’ outburst, a comprehensive victory, on the contrary, would genuinely ease down the tension and establish the much needed trust and belief in Moyes.