These days my entire weekends are sent to the wreckage or the scrap yard by one football manager. Let me take back that comment, I will not allow an average football manager to steal my sanity. Manchester United has crumbled spectacularly in the space of a few months, without any justifiable reason.
The title winning team from last year looks like crumbs from the pastry shelf of Greggs. The team is unrecognizable and lacks artistry and one man must take the blame. Football managers normally have a style of play or a philosophy regardless of the team’s results. The current manager at the greatest club in the world has no footballing blue print. The team is not playing attractive or flamboyant football similar to the years when Sir Alex Ferguson was knocking over everyone like Mike Tyson.
What we are seeing is a team based on industry rather than flair despite some very creative and attacking minded individuals at the club. The top six attacking players are as good as any in the world. However their performances under the current manager suggest that these guys would probably struggle to make my high school team.
So what is really the problem with Manchester United? First of all the manager does not have a philosophy which can be translated into the attacking football that we have seen over the years. Small clubs have a workman like mentally and that is what we are seeing from the champions. David Moyes must decide whether he will continue with the tradition of playing exciting wingers, or to change this philosophy into more of a possession retaining side. At the same time Man United can still play a possession game with exciting wingers. Even when Arsenal was at their prime, they never usually out passed Man United in games contrary to some false perception out there.
This year Man United has their worst possession statistics in many years. We know that the midfield is average at best, but there is still no excuse since playing for Man United means that you have good technical ability. The possession statistics must be addressed which should benefit the leaky looking defense.
Finally the manager of Man United needs to take a diploma course in the area of tactics and substitutions. He often makes substitutions without looking at the balance of the team. There are three games that were lost because he took off the natural right back and replaced him with winger who is very poor at positioning. In those three games if Rafael was still in the line-up Man United would have won all three games and at least six points more that where the team is now.
My great grandmother always told me that you cannot teach old dog new tricks. My grandfather had it the other way by saying you cannot teach old dogs how to bark. I am afraid that Moyes has passed the stage where he should be learning game tactics. By now he should have been a master and not an apprentice, but the entire backroom staff looks seriously short of management experience.