Manchester United’s Round 4 Capital One Cup tie with Norwich City at Old Trafford may not be a must win game for David Moyes, but it is this competition that could do his Old Trafford future a lot of favours.
His stuttering start in place of Sir Alex Ferguson has had many questioning his ability to emulate what Fergie achieved, but Moyes’ job may not necessarily be on the line so soon after taking charge, particularly when you consider his predecessor has publicly backed him and is there to offer advice when required.
Sure, any piece of silverware in his first season would be considered a success. But what is it about the Capital One Cup that is screaming “important” in the face of the Scot?
Perhaps it is the fact that the Capital One Cup is the first trophy, in any season, which is up for grabs. At the time of writing United are in four competitions. Any one of them, in varying order of priority, depending on your persuasion, would mean a successful first season under the former Everton boss. That is, of course, unless United win any of the cups they are in but are relegated.
It is without question, stats do not lie as they say, that United are still trying to get going. No question Moyes has his work cut out, maybe he would have been better advised to have worked with Fergie`s backroom staff, at least for the first season, to ease the massive transition to not only a new manager but a new way of life, a new culture. But he did not, perhaps something he regrets with hindsight though we will all have a long wait if we are looking for such an admission from the United manager.
Moyes has to get on with it and more pointedly the players have too and it is that which underlines the importance of the tie against Norwich. In previous years Old Trafford has been a fortress, it is that no longer. The home crowd has never been so quiet as in recent times.
While the importance of this tie, to United and David Moyes, cannot be underestimated by the same token it cannot be regarded out of proportion and out of context.
Yes, the manager has changed, yes the coaching staff have changed but the players, Fellaini apart, have not. David Moyes, if he hasn`t done so already, could do worse than having a chat with Paul Scholes. No, not about making another comeback, though that might just work, but asking for his take on things.
Maybe too much is being expected of Danny Welbeck, maybe Hernandez needs that run of games he has been asking for. He is without question the best really natural goal scorer on the books at Old Trafford. He is the most unpredictable of strikers in terms of how he conjures a goal out of the merest sniff of a chance and is worth a shout for at least half a dozen games or he could well be on his way to one of the big continental clubs reportedly courting the young Mexican.
For David Moyes it may not be Capital One Cup or bust but it certainly represents a golden opportunity to put a trophy in the cabinet while the snowdrops are still blooming. Continuity in this competition will not only maintain interest but will also buy Moyes the time to shake United into a more cohesive unit than has been apparent this far.