Monday, October 21, 2013

Treasonous: Some Complaints About Events at Manchester United

Some thoughts after another disappointing weekend:

o We're getting a bit tired of being lectured by certain fans who believe only they know how "true" Manchester United fans should behave at the current moment. Who make it clear that if you disagree with their own viewpoint you should be dismissed as a "muppet," a "Johnny-Come-Lately," or -- worst of all -- a "plastic" fan for expressing your feelings. We've got news for you guys: it's a big world out there, and there's plenty of room for dissenting opinions. When someone doesn't agree with you it makes them neither a "moron, an "idiot," or worse; instead, the incessant hectoring of United fans who are expressing displeasure at the current time just shows one's own intolerance and incredibly egocentric worldview. 

o This is not a "Moyes Out" rant. We're all for giving the new guy more time. But just as we criticized Fergie when we thought he made mistakes, we'll feel as free as we like to offer complaints about the events over the last five months at Old Trafford. 

o The transfer window was a shambles. End of story.  There's no glossing over this fact. Whether this was due to the Glazers, Ed Woodward, or David Moyes is less clear. Certainly United's "all over the map" strategy reeked of indecision and naïveté. But we're less interested in assigning blame than we are in acknowledging the fact, as well as admitting that the destabilization of certain players and lack of adding a true world-class player or two is contibuting to the team's current woes. 

o Marouanne Fellaini is not who United needed. Sure, he's a decent player, but he's not world class by any stretch of the imagination, and he's not the answer partnering with Michael Carrick in midfield. He may want to play the role of the holding midfielder, but it's different to where he was played at Everton, and it's abundantly apparent after even a few games in the role that he lacks the requisite speed and gets beaten much too easily to play there long-term. Perhaps Moyes will find the right spot in which to deploy the Belgian, but it's going to require some shuffling of the current lineup to do so. 

o Personally, we're of the opinion that Fellaini is a squad player and nothing more -- and this year's midfield excels in squad players, unfortunately. Fellaini was added because Moyes felt "comfortable" with him. "Comfortable" was never a word used to describe Fergie's relationships with his players. 

o We appreciate that Ryan Giggs is a player-coach this season, but feel that Moyes is trying much too hard to work the Welshman into the lineup. He should not be first choice off the bench every game. 

o Paul Scholes is a huge miss. Fergie was lucky to talk him out of retirement, because he could hold onto the ball in the game's closing moments -- something not a single player on the squad appears capable of doing at the current time. Now equally, one can blame Ferguson here: it wasn't exactly a secret the Ginger Prince was aging, yet nothing was done to bring in a backup. Not a like-for-like replacement, but a strategy for dealing with the inevitable. And man, does that particular cupboard appear barren right now. 

o Chicharito has been a loyal servant, but if we were him we'd be looking to move on. He's clearly 4th choice for Moyes, although he has one of the highest goals-per-minute-on-the-pitch ratio in the entire league. We're baffled by even the lack of substitute time the Mexican is receiving, and so must he be. 

o Ditto Shinji Kagawa. Although we don't think Kagawa's quite the offensive genius that many others seem to, we do know you don't go from being Bundesliga Player of the Year to bench warmer overnight. If he's surplus to requirements, let him go. 

o The team's attitude in recent games has been exceptionally negative and defensive in nature. Run of play goals are so rare those days that the team is forced to try to hang on for dear life to protect a slim lead -- even at Old Trafford. We're tired of hearing people say "West Brom played an exceptional game," or "Southampton is on a good run."  These are games, at home, that United should have attacked with abandon and failed to do so. 

o It's not just the lack of creativity, but the midfield looks slower and more labored than ever before. The United midfield must lead the league in sideways and back passes this season, and the number of "fast break" counter attacks could be determined with one hand. We're not sure why this is the case, and perhaps we're just stating the obvious. It could be players aging, it could be new training techniques, or it could be new strategy. Either way it's not working.

o Ironically, after reading recent comments from Chicharito, Patrice Evra, and (allegedly) Robin Van Persie, the only player who appears "settled" at the team is Wayne Rooney. Which is all well and good unless you consider that Wazza may be playing more to showcase his talents for a new employer than he is for the current badge. Speculation, for certain, but not at all out of the realm of possibility given the player's history. So while keeping Rooney was "like a new signing," the question needs to be asked if Moyes' coddling of Rooney (the Captaincy?  Seriously? After this summer in particular?!) destabilized anyone else. 

That's all for now. This is farlieonfootie for October 21. 

1 comment:

  1. Agree. Agree. Agree. On everything really. Saved me making an argument I'll just re-direct people to this article for my opinion. Especially the Rooney thing. Playing a formation to suit him at the expense of everyone else, and the team, it seems like.