The Red devils’ 26 years under Sir Alex Ferguson saw a trend of huge success, no matter what the circumstances entailed. The Scot installed a winning mentality at a club whose trophy record almost proves untouchable.
But right from the start of David Moyes’ tenure at the club, United have struggled to impress, particularly in the Premier League, losing three of their opening six games, with the latest setback coming in a 2-1 defeat to West Brom at Old Trafford on Saturday.
United find themselves in 12th place with just seven points to their name, already eight points behind log leaders Arsenal. It is also their worst start since the 1989-90 season, and Saturday’s home loss to the Baggies was the first of its kind since 1978.
While it is still way too early to make judgement calls on Moyes, it is nonetheless worrying times for the United faithful, who have always feared the reality of life after Fergie.
In my opinion, United fans are well within the rights to be worried. Moyes has, so far, failed to have a positive impact on the side – the club looked awful in their pre-season and they had a very limited impact on the summer transfer window.
The form of Wayne Rooney and the club’s opening Champions League win versus Bayer Leverkusen are the only real positives that can be drawn from the opening months of the 2013/14 season. Even in the matches they have won, they have been anything but convincing.
Recent comments from Moyes regarding the club’s European prospects create even more cause for worry.
"To win the Champions League, you need five or six world-class players," he said.
"Look at Bayern Munich, they have it. Look at Barcelona, who had it in the past and Real Madrid, who have maybe got it now. That's the level you have to be at to win it. We've not got that yet but what we have got is experience."
Obviously realism is a positive attribute, but how can he now expect to motivate a team to perform in a competition he doesn’t think they can win? In this instance, Moyes’ inexperience as a top-flight manager shows. Mind games should fall hand in hand with tactfulness. These comments do nothing except undermine the club as far as I’m concerned.
Moyes needs time and support in order to assert himself at the club. Inevitably commets like the above will do nothing to improve the current situation.
The Scot is a good manager and was obviously chosen by his predecessor for a reason. I’m still sure the ex-Everton boss is the correct long-term solution for Manchester United, but he will need to be given time to adjust to the big time.
In essence, he needs to gain more experience in managing a top, top club. And hopefully the powers-that-be will be understanding enough to afford him that time – like they did with Ferguson all those years ago.
By Chris Linnel