It might still be early days for David Moyes at Manchester United, but the “Chosen One” (as he has been dubbed by United fans) is already feeling the heat. Aside from securing the services of Marouane Fellaini from Everton, he failed to make any major signings in the summer and has now lost back-to-back matches to Manchester City (away) and West Bromwich Albion (home). To top it off, he recently made it clear that his United side don’t possess the quality to mount a serious challenge in the Champions League.
Nevertheless, Moyes still has enough time to make a few tactical and personnel changes to his side. Let’s take a look at 4 things he can do to improve United’s current performances:
1) Play Jonny Evans in defence – The Ferdinand-Vidic combination has served United well for more than a few years now, but recent matches show that this particular defensive combination is extremely immobile. Vidic was never known for his pace and is still pretty solid but Ferdinand gets beaten by almost any player who runs at him. It’s evident that the Englishman no longer has the legs to play on a regular basis. Moyes should play the Irish centre-back ahead of Ferdinand as he is hard to beat and isn’t short on pace. A Vidic-Evans combination in defence would make United a lot harder to beat.
2) Nani and Kagawa should get more game time – Shinji Kagawa has struggled to nail down a first-team spot at United since he moved to the club and Nani, despite signing a new 5-year contract this season, hasn’t fared too much better. Both of them should be playing ahead of Ashley Young and even Valencia, who has been inconsistent for a little while now. There are many ways Moyes could choose to use them due to the versatility; Nani can play on either wing while Kagawa can be used as an inverted left-winger or as a traditional #10. Nevertheless, both should be playing on a regular basis.
3) Quick-fire attacking subs when things aren’t working – One of Moyes’ biggest problems is his lack of initiative. When things aren’t working in his favour, he needs to be on top of things and make substitutions as soon as possible. Players like Javier Hernandez and Danny Welbeck can be game changers if used correctly. One things for sure; sitting back and waiting till the last minute to make substitutions never works.
4) Get the best out of Marouane Fellaini – The one big-name signing Moyes made during the summer was Marouane Fellaini. United lack an enforcer in midfield next to someone like Carrick and Fellaini was seen as the best candidate. The Belgian is a physical presence and a goal threat; however, he has the tendency to leave gaps in the midfield (funnily enough, it’s his job to protect those very gaps) and is very rash in his decision-making. If Moyes can make Fellaini work harder in defence while improving his decision-making, it will make United a more solid team than they are now.