Reigning champions Manchester United drew 1-1 with Southampton at Old Trafford yesterday.
The Saints produced a superb performance and could have gone home with all three points. However, the visitors had to wait until the 89th minute for Adam Lallana to find the net.
Manchester United have made a poor start to the season under boss David Moyes.
Even though it is early in the season, United are eight points behind league leaders Arsenal already. Yesterday’s performance was typical of United under Moyes this season.
David Moyes has inherited an average squad from predecessor Sir Alex Ferguson. They may have been champions last season, but that performance was based on Ferguson’s sheer force of character.
The legendary Scot managed to get every bit out of the United squad in the last few years. Ferguson showed his outstanding managerial ability in making what is essentially an average squad Premier League champions.
The problem that United have is that the teams around them strengthened their squads in the summer. Without Ferguson at the helm the current United squad was never going to achieve the same results as in previous seasons.
David Moyes needed to make changes to his squad in the summer and he failed to do it. The Manchester United squad needed revitalising and David Moyes brought in just Marouane Fellaini from Everton, and the Red Devils overpaid for the big Belgium international.
Fellaini has not yet settled into his new surroundings and his performances have given United fans a stick to beat Moyes with.
Manchester United have lost that vibrant feeling in their attacking play. Youngster Adnan Januzaj has signed a big-money new contract at Manchester United this week. The youngster has provided the team with a touch of flair, but the team cannot just rely on an 18-year-old to win them games.
Giving Januzaj a new long-term contract was vital, as United really need the likes of the Belgium-born ace to provide a touch of pace and skill, as their seems to be few other players providing it.
Replacing Sir Alex Ferguson was always going to be one of the most difficult jobs in football. The veteran Scot has built up such a legacy at Old Trafford that any boss replacing him would have a difficult time replacing him.
David Moyes was always going to need time to settle in his new position. He was appointed as boss of one of the world’s biggest football clubs. The former-Everton boss was never going to find the transition an easy one.
The fact that Sir Alex Ferguson chose Moyes as his successor, should allow Moyes more time to establish himself at Old Trafford. The United fans should have faith in Ferguson’s ability to spot managerial talent.
Ferguson had been a long-term admirer of Moyes, ever since his early days as a rookie boss at Preston. The veteran wanted to appoint Moyes as his assistant prior to him moving to Everton over a decade ago.
I have no doubts that Sir Alex Ferguson knew that the team was running on empty and that it was time for change. The veteran boss did not feel he could provide United with the fresh impetus needed, so decided to call time on his illustrious managerial career.
The fact that he chose Moyes as his replacement spoke volumes about Ferguson. He wanted his replacement to have a similar strength of character and to be in the project for the long-run. Ferguson knew that Moyes would be an appointment for the long-term, rather than just the short-term.
Sir Alex Ferguson has even recently suggested that it would be a fantastic achievement for Moyes to win a trophy in his first season in charge of the Red Devils, that says a lot about the squad he left behind.
Manchester United fans seem to think that David Moyes is a negative boss and I have to admit a lot of Everton fans would agree with them. The Scot’s substitutions yesterday probably summed up his pragmatic approach.
The Scot needs to change his mentality pretty quickly or he will not be successful at Old Trafford and the team will continue to underachieve. Moyes negative tactics worked at Everton some of the time, but they failed to win the Toffees any silverware.
It is likely to get worse before it gets better for Manchester United fans. Their team will produce better performances once Moyes has become accustomed to his new position. However, United fans will have to be patient.
They are used to their team dominating games and the Premier League. Now their team is in a transitional stage. David Moyes is in the job for the long-term, so I have a feeling those United fans calling for Moyes to be sacked will be very disappointed.
Where will Manchester United finish in the Premier League this season?