In a stunning Saturday, both Manchester United and Manchester City got beat by midtable clubs from Birmingham; Aston Villa beating City 3-2 and United losing at home 2-1 to West Brom. They are disastrous results for both Manchester clubs who need to take 3 points in games like these if they are to win the title. For City, this is a third away game against lower quality opposition which they have threw away. City have now lost away to Cardiff and Villa and drawn away at Stoke. One point from a possible Nine in those away fixtures is not title winning form. United are perhaps more worrying, losing at home to mid table side West Brom is a terrible blow.
The headlines of course are dominated by Manchester United. The second league defeat in a row, the result leaves United 12th in the league on 7 points with London rivals Arsenal topping the league on 15 points. New United manager David Moyes has played Six league games, won only Two, drawn One and lost Three. They have scored just Eight goals, and conceded Eight goals. It is an underwhelming start for David Moyes as Manchester United manager.
But Manchester United fans and the media need to get a grip. Following Sir Alex Ferguson is an impossible job. Reality check, the best you can hope for after an era like the Ferguson one is a smooth-ish transition. That transition is still taking place. David Moyes needs time to learn about his players and to feel comfortable at the club. It took Ferguson himself years to win his first trophy at the club. You cant win all the time, Moyes’s detractors should remember Alex Fergusons last words as United manager “Support your new manager, it is time to get behind him”.
Sitting in mid table, United look to have had a bad start. But, with the exception of the West Brom result they have done ok considering the upheaval at the club with Ferguson departing. The City result last week was painful, but always expected away from home. The Liverpool loss was painful too, but United dominated that game and just didn’t get the luck. The only really shocking result is this West Brom game, but Ferguson lost these unexpected types of fixture in his title winning years. United need to get perspective, take stock, and move on to the next game. In time their undoubted quality and experience will float them back towards the top. Today was just a bad day at the office, last week was a beating in a tough away fixture. There is no need for panic, and David Moyes needs supporting not criticizing as he settles in to his new job.
The in your face disappointments are clear to see at United, but there is encouraging signs too. A draw with title rivals Chelsea is not to be sneered at, and in challenging away game at Swansea United ran out with Four goals. In the champions league, United looked very good against Leverkusen and scored Four goals, and in the League Cup United got revenge and knocked a strong Liverpool side out. In the August Community Shield Moyes won his first piece of silverware at the club. Hardly a club in crisis, United are finding their feet with a new manager and finding that they are getting some good and some bad as the upheaval of the Ferguson retirement settles.
On the pitch the biggest issue has been that Moyes has had to take time to get to know his players. He is still clearly unsure what his best side is, with Nani, Young, Cleverley, Anderson, Welbeck and Kagawa all coming in and out of the starting Eleven. When Moyes gets some certainty of what his best side is the consistency of results will come. He hasn’t been helped by the fact that some of his should be star players have played with lethargy, but the quality of these talents is undoubted, when these players get to full gear and Moyes gets his best Eleven decided the results will come. New signing Fellani adds ability in physical areas and holding up play, Van Persie is a proven goal machine, Rooney is playing superbly and getting goals too – the talent is there and when the settling period is complete this team should be back in the top four battling for the title.
Sir Alex Ferguson is a legend who won it all. David Moyes has only had a couple of months, United aren’t hitting their best form yet, but their detractors need to get a reality check and perspective. You can’t always win, especially when the most important man in the club departs, David Moyes is going to need time to settle in. The club has Moyes on a Six year contract, and he is going to need those years to really make this club his own.
G.J Herbert is a British features writer who has worked in content writing for business and been published in regional titles and nationally in The Sun newspaper. For his sports coverage follow him at https://twitter.com/gjhsports