Author : Venkatesan Parthasarathy
While David Moyes may heave a sigh of relief after securing his first win at Old Trafford, he is not yet entitled to rest. He has just started off; indeed, for a major part of the match against the team that gained promotion last season, his side lacked that extra bit which made Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United a fearsome team for its opponents. Be it the final ball, the magical cross or a crunching tackle, the killer instinct was missing.
It is fairly safe to assume that Moyes is a conservative player who prefers to secure his result without any need for adventure. This season Manchester United has earned a rather ignominious distinction of having the second highest percentage of long ball passing. Observers can be forgiven for thinking that the Red Devils are slowly turning into Everton or any other side that plays a long ball from the back straight to the striker, bypassing the midfield. Obviously Carrick, or for that matter even a half decent Anderson, wouldn’t like that.
More importantly, the Old Trafford faithful will certainly voice its displeasure. They haven’t seen that tactic being employed for close to a quarter century now. Even more significant is the fact that the talismanic Van Persie won’t appreciate frequent missiles being directed at him. He can and will knock down a few of them before launching an effort at goal but that’s just not how he plays.
The same can be said of the entire team. Yes, Fellaini is someone who can take down the balls and spread it for the forwards but then, he can’t do the same for the entire duration. While his debut was lapped up by the crowd and this writer is enthused at the possibilities that the towering player presents to his side, caution needs to be exercised. Prevent stereotyping! (Read Valencia or Young)
The crowd needs to enjoy the football they witness and the manager must guarantee that. Against Crystal Palace there were moments that inspired and roused the crowd, but not in galore. Of course, it doesn’t imply that Moyes needs to change the brand of his football; rather, he will do well to realize the immense attacking potential that he is blessed with. Particularly pleasing was the arrival of Adnan Januczaj on the scene. Such was the impact of the young Belgian prodigy that he ran a close second to Rooney for the man of the match award voted by United fans.
He, Zaha, Kagawa amongst other exciting players need to be given time by Moyes. The manager won’t be castigated if they play poorly but on the other hand, the benefits outweigh the risks. Agreed, they won’t play well every now and then but that shouldn’t stop the manager trying out these players. Give them a chance!
Any manager who comes to a new club brings his own tried and trusted success formula, but at Manchester United, the formula is already there. Stability and resilience are the two strengths always associated with Moyes and Manchester United surely needs those two qualities during this transitional phase. However, he will need to blend his style with the intrinsic DNA of his new side or else there will be some uninspiring football on offer for the audience.