Peter Schmeichel says David Moyes is being let down by his players, an idea which is the consensus of the Manchester United manager’s sympathisers.
The pressure on the players has been lessened following the retirement of Alex Ferguson. Under the former United boss, players would work tirelessly one way or another to avoid the dreaded hairdryer treatment. The respect Ferguson’s players had for him was such that he needed to do very little to get positive and consistent performances on the pitch.
Moyes simply doesn’t have that authority yet, though that shouldn’t be an excuse for the players. It was always going to be a difficult initial period for any manager succeeding Ferguson, but the problems at United are being left out in the open due to the lack of effort from certain sections of the dressing room.
At the start of the season, it was ironically Wayne Rooney who looked the liveliest and most likely to get United the points they needed. The forward was involved in a summer-long transfer saga but was eventually convinced to stay. So far, he’s been one of the few who have done well this season.
But it’s in the important engine room of the United team where very little is being generated. Tom Cleverley has either regressed or simply failed to progress this season. It’s difficult to label the midfielder as either a creative influence or a defensive-minded player, such is his feeble effort to do either to a high enough standard; Marouane Fellaini, like Moyes, is experiencing a difficult period of adaption to a new team, but he may eventually come good; and the less said about Anderson the better.
These, combined with the wide players, are not bad performers. Ferguson’s influence had them emerge as the most consistent in the Premier League last season as they won the title. This season, however, there seems to be a notable lack of care for their position at the club, as if they have little belief in the new manager and little worry for the repercussions.
This January, Moyes will have a chance to add to his squad, helping at least to paper over some sizable cracks until the summer. But this will also be an opportunity to cut loose those who have no place at the club for one reason or another. There is a big squad at United and perhaps little harm will be done in the short term to simply get rid of those who are underperforming. That way Moyes will at least have a better grasp of his best XI and those who he can place faith in.
The departure of Ferguson has revealed the worrying number of passengers in this United team. Some may not be good enough, as was the case under Ferguson, but they nevertheless continued to work and help towards getting maximum points from each game.
Moyes knows what he needs to do. This team is in need of a drastic overhaul.