Old Trafford axing on the cards?
Javier Hernandez’s winning goal may have eased the pressure on David Moyes as Manchester United edged a narrow contest with Liverpool in the Capital One Cup last week, but a shock 2-1 home defeat at the hands of West Bromwich Albion on Saturday has certainly seen the tide of vitriol return to the former Everton boss as he struggles to find consistency at Old Trafford.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure at the end of last season left a gargantuan chasm in the ranks of the reigning Premier League champions, but the Scottish legend was adamant that Moyes could continue the success he had orchestrated during his 26 year tenure, but six games in and with three defeats to his name already, some quarters of the Old Trafford faithful are questioning Moyes’ ability to emulate Ferguson.
Moyes was quick to publicly voice his disappointment following the defeat to the Baggies and claims earlier in the week from the Scot that he feels his squad isn’t up to scratch to cause a stir in the Champions League has reopened the debate on his failure to venture into the transfer market before deadline day. Their lack of creativity in the middle of the park, twinned with their frailties in defence have left some feeling that Moyes may not be up to the job both on and off the field.
Marouane Fellaini’s move to Old Trafford was the only major signing during the summer and it’s hard to see where the lofty Belgian fits into the side as he has been unable to solidify his place in the starting line-up and was certainly lost when playing behind Wayne Rooney in the absence of Robin Van Persie in last weekend’s 4-1 defeat to Manchester City.
Michael Carrick has often slipped under the radar in a winning United side as the England international has controlled the tempo of the game, but beyond the former Spurs midfielder, there’s a major lack of creativity coming through the central areas and it’s often drafted out wide for Antonio Valencia to try and provide service to Van Persie and Rooney.
Anderson, Ashley Young and Nani have all been given chances in the United midfield, whilst Red Devils fans have been calling for Shinji Kagawa to be handed a start, but the Japanese 24 year old was hauled off at half-time in Saturday’s defeat and replaced with the unproven 18 year old, Adnan Januzaj, who joined as a youngster from Anderlecht a couple of years ago.
All this points to the suggestion that Moyes is simply shuffling his cards in the hope that he stumbles on the correct hand to play, but whilst this midfield jostling takes place, the Premier League trophy is gradually slipping off the shelf of the Old Trafford trophy cabinet – with three defeats in the league already this season, there is little margin for error between now and next May.
It was never going to be easy to try and follow in Ferguson’s footsteps but Moyes will need to propel United up the league quickly from their current position of 12th, otherwise, the negativity around the club will continue to increase and there are sure to be some parts of the Old Trafford crowd who would rather see the back of Moyes before the situation gets out of hand.
With a five year, six million pound contract, it would cost United in the region of £35 million to sack Moyes so early on in to his reign but at what stage will the Glazers begin to question whether they can afford not to sack him with so much at stake in terms of the financial rewards on offer for playing in the Champions League together with winning the silverware that being one of the world’s biggest clubs demands.
It comes as no surprise to learn that bookmakers are already betting on who will be the next incumbent of the Old Trafford hotseat and Sir Alex
Ferguson is just 10/1 to be that man! Will an SOS call be made to the 71 year old or are those in charge prepared to ride the media storm and allow Moyes time to captain the ship to the calmer waters of the ‘Fergie years’?