Say What

Published: Saturday December 7, 2013 MYT 2:16:00 AM
Updated: Saturday December 7, 2013 MYT 3:19:13 AM

Support Moyes and United

These are worrying times for Man United and their new manager David Moyes, as the team are now 12 points behind leaders Arsenal going into the hectic holiday fixtures. - AFP

These are worrying times for Man United and their new manager David Moyes, as the team are now 12 points behind leaders Arsenal going into the hectic holiday fixtures. - AFP

GET behind your team!

That’s the message Manchester United fans should be telling each other. And not just criticise David Moyes and his under-performing team. Yes, it is unacceptable that we are ninth in the standings – 12 points behind the leaders Arsenal. But we always knew that this was going to be a difficult season without Sir Alex Ferguson.

As a United fan, it hurts that results are not going our way, more so when we lose at our once mighty fortress Old Trafford to the likes of West Brom and Everton.

But what makes it worse for me is our own fans joining the legions of ABUs (Anything But United) and slagging our team. Come on!

It’s the start of December and you’re writing off the Red Devils’ chances of not only winning the title but also of even making the Champions League places?

Abuse from the likes of Liverpool and Arsenal fans (hey, we’re the champions and they’d love for us to fail) is the norm, but it shouldn’t come from fellow Red Devils and not after only 14 matches into the season.

The chorus of boos that rang out around Old Trafford in midweek, while unhelpful and unwelcome, is a warning sign for Moyes and his team. The message from the terrace is clear – every team loses and United have had their fair share of defeats under Fergie, but we don’t like to see our team crashing to cheap defeats. United sides go down fighting.

What then can Moyes do? A lot actually. They used to say that Fergie alone was worth 10 points to his team every season. So, the influence of the manager should never be underestimated.

Here then are my humble suggestions on how Moyes can arrest United’s slump and (hopefully) take them back to the summit. 

  • Buy big in the January transfer window. United’s summer transfer failings highlight the need to identify targets early and to go after them. Priority should be a midfielder and a central defender. January transfers generally cost more but the Glazers have already sanctioned big money moves. Former targets – Wesley Sneijder of Galatasaray and Ander Herrera of Athletic Bilbao – would fit the bill of a goal-scoring midfielder that we need.
  • Cut your losses and ship out the duds. Players like Nani, Anderson, Cleverley, Smalling and Young have been given too much time to prove themselves – and failed. Depending on injuries to other key players, these average footballers need to be loaned or sold either in January or in the summer.
  • Focus on under-performing players. Moyes worked his magic with Rooney and the Scouser is now United’s most effective player. He needs to do the same with Valencia, Welbeck, Hernandez, Kagawa, Ferdinand and Vidic. These are world-class players who are in a slump. All they need is a little love and motivation.
  • Take a leaf out of Fergie’s book. Remember what the Scot used to do when his team were in a slump? Yup. Get angry. Create a siege mentality – blame the media, the FA, the referees, and heck, even the pitch. The main thing is to create a situation that everyone is against you. The idea is to get the players to bond and play as a team and
  • Lastly, but probably the most important thing to do, is to get the team playing like United used to. Four-four-two. Two wingers and two fullbacks who compliment the wingers, playing cavalier football.
Let’s start today. We’ve got Newcastle at home. Go on Moyes, unleash the Manchester United that we love to watch.


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