Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Moyes has no answers.

When I sat down to write this piece, I started to think to myself 'why bother'? And then it struck me that was the very point.

The fact that United being trounced in the local derby to ensure their worst ever Premiership points total, the fact that everyone expected City to win comfortably at their neighbours, that those facts didn't seem worth writing about meant just how far United have fallen.

I fully expect United to recover to some degree next season but the question more and more seems to be whether it will be with Davie Moyes at the helm.

United handed him a six year contract, patience and transition were the watch words, Ferguson had a very sticky start remember and look what happened next.

I myself am a trader by profession and in any market you are always taught to 'buy the dip' but when the dip comes so your confidence waivers and you have to remind yourself of your reasoning before that dip came.

United are not so much in a dip but in an almighty trough. The board and to a large degree the fans have preached patience and belief in their new manager, he is (or was) after all 'the chosen one'.

Moyes however is cutting an increasingly forlorn and isolated figure on the United bench, providing an essay in paralysis of both thought and action.

Some of his expressions are reminiscent of the footage of George Bush sat blankly staring into space in a school classroom having just being informed of the tragic 9/11 attacks.

Now whilst not wishing to link the two events in shape or form, what does appear similar is the portrait of a person in power with apparently no idea of what to do next.

A badly ageing Paul Scholes aside, this is the same group of players that won the title at a canter last year with the addition of Marauane Fellaini and now Juan Mata at a combined cost of 64M.

Add to that the availability of Wilfred Zaha purchased by Ferguson for 10M and the emergence of Januzaj who Moyes has trumpeted from the rooftops and handed a hefty contract to.

If you assume Januzaj to be worth somewhere in the region of 25M, that's around 100M of talent added to last year's squad already (in very simplified terms).

Now Moyes it could be said didn't ask for Zaha but he's generally considered a fine young wide player. Januzaj he must take some credit for developing but Mata and Fellaini have been dire.

Moyes it seems wishes to persist with playing with wingers yet out and out wingers like Nani and Valencia do not feature and Zaha has been loaned out.

Whilst at Chelsea, Mata was never the most spectacular of players but he was devilishly effective with assists and goals in vast numbers.

At United he looks like a journeyman pro with game after game passing him by.

Against West Ham at the weekend he did look much better playing in a central role, hardly rocket science we hear you shout. Moyes responded by moving him out wide again for the derby.

For United, other than wounded pride it does not really matter where they finish this season if it is not in the top four.

Missing out on the poisoned chalice of the Europa League may prove a boon in any case - just ask Liverpool and Newcastle before them.

United are far too big an institution to not be able to absorb one poor season, players will always want to play for a club of their stature.

What could become problematic is if the missing of Champions League football extends beyond one season and just as importantly that the winning mentality is lost from the club. The Glazers and their loans cannot tolerate an extended period out of Europe's premier competition.

Much of Ferguson's achievements were built around an aura of relentless invincibility that he carved out for the club. This season, several clubs have broken long periods of failure against the Reds with Old Trafford quickly becoming the Theatre of Nightmares.

I honestly don't know whether Moyes should be retained this Summer. Whilst everyone expected a dip, one would have expected that dip to take a 'U' shape with the shoots of recovery starting to form as the season wore on, instead we seem to have an 'L' shape to United's season.

Ferguson and the United board clearly believed that replacing one tough Glaswegian for another was the best way to ensure continuity and if given time they may well be proven right.

The similarities right now however look restricted to only superficial ones such as the paint stripping glares that they offer journalists when required.

Initially I was a big believer in what United had done in appointing Moyes and as a Chelsea fan had my own reservations about rehiring the short termist Mourinho who although someone I idolise, wasn't someone I was convinced should be coming back (no matter how much I wanted it to happen.....).

It is very easy in hindsight to say that United should have chosen Mourinho and it is hard to imagine that things would be anything like as bad as they are right now had they gone with the Portugeezer, but United clearly had a longer term end game.

So is this just the short term pain?

I find myself entirely torn now as to what I think United should do. The derby showed the first real signs of the fans beginning to turn against the manager and what United decide to do with the managers' position between now and next August will be far more important than what they do in the transfer market.

The natives are starting to get restless and there can be no room for error - No Nonsense.