5 Things We Learned: Manchester United 0-1 Everton


By Matthew Jones

1. The #MoyesOut mob are morons

THERE’S no point pretending that nothing’s wrong but let’s not go overboard.

Manchester United rarely lose at home but already we’ve lost twice at home this season, as well as two draws, in seven outings at Old Trafford.

Last night’s loss was already a fourth defeat in 14 games.

Instantly, the keyboard warriors took to Twitter and I saw a few #MoyesOut hash tags on my timeline. I listened to a few phone-ins and read lots of comments on web sites too, with a lot of disillusioned fans claiming David Moyes should be sacked and that he’s not the man for our team.

If you have opinions, that’s fine, and there are obviously numerous fans who didn’t want Moyes in the first place, but your vocal opposition to him now is not helping.

United are the biggest club in the country. We’re a class above the rest. We’re not Manchester City and Chelsea who have hired and fired managers with such regularity in recent years that they’re dangerously close to being a real life representation of that in play manager sackings advert from Paddy Power.

We don’t boo our team when they don’t perform and we don’t sack a manger four months into the season – especially one who’s brave enough to step into the shoes of the club’s most successful manager of all time.

Moyes is just starting his project, beginning to mould his own squad and imprint himself on the club. There’s going to be ups and downs.

Our success of the last two decades has turned us fans into the pampered primadonas that the beautiful game is littered with today.

Shame on you if you don’t want to support the team in good times and bad.

And just who else would these clowns like us to replace Moyes with if he was to get the sack, or resign? Who would you like to come and ‘rescue’ us at this point from your so-called crisis? Alan Curbishley? Iain Dowie? Harry Redknapp?

United fans in the last 20 odd years have been spoilt and in this period of unquestionable transition it’s time to keep the faith and believe, not turn against the team and new manager.

2. United’s aura has gone

WITH Ferguson’s retirement, gone too is the cloak of invincibility that Ferguson’s United teams donned.

Moyes has triggered a new era at Old Trafford and he needs to create his own aura.

On the playing side hardly anything’s changed. This is still the same squad that won the league by 11 points last season, so we’ve not become a worse team all of a sudden.

Our form this season is a reflection of the changes behind the scenes.

With United in transition, we’re the weakest we’ve been in a while and teams will and are exploiting that.

Moyes, despite all the doubters, is a brilliant manager, and I have faith that he will be successful.

But that cocksure swagger with which we used to play under Ferguson is definitely not there right now.

His teams were famed for late goals but you never really sensed United were going to equalise after Bryan Oviedo scored last night.

There was no charge of the light brigade after that, United hardly touched the ball.

Moyes needs his team to rediscover their confidence or before too long we really are going to be out of the title race.

3. Our Achilles heel

MIDFIELD has long been a cause for concern and especially when Michael Carrick isn’t playing in it, but whereas Ferguson’s sheer will was probably enough to carry our weakest link through games, under Moyes teams are well aware where they need to and can attack us.

No-one seems to be able to impose themselves in that engine room.

Marouane Fellaini was bought to add some steal into the middle of the park but he’s played so far very much like a player in awe of his new surroundings.

We’ve got some tidy, reliable and experienced midfielders, but we haven’t got anyone who’s going to dominate games or scare opponents.

Even Roberto Martinez said his team played last night with an arrogance.

Teams, playing with arrogance…at Old Trafford? Unheard of. Away teams never even used to be able to even believe they could beat us at home.

With Ferguson gone, so has the fear factor.

Ross Barkley, Gareth Barry and James McCarthy had the freedom of Old Trafford last night for large spells, exploiting ruthlessly the gaping hole in our midfield.

When I compare our midfield to the other top sides, I am envious, but I’m not disheartened.

We’re not completely devoid of talent in there and I take umbrage with the criticism of some players.

Fellaini’s certainly not pulled up any trees but at a big club like United I’ll allow for the fact he needs to acclimatize.

Everytime we lose and Giggs plays, critics drag out the grandad card – even though they were waxing lyrical when he was immense last week against Leverkusen.

Yes his powers are waning, he’s just turned 40 for Christ’s sake. He career is in the dying embers but he’s still a superb player, our last European game proved that.

I’ve long decided that Anderson is living on borrowed time. Fitness and injury issues have plagued him admittedly but he’s done depressingly in in the SIX years he’s been here.

I remain a fan of Cleverley, but I readily admit that if he doesn’t impress himself more on this team or make more of an impact before the end of the season, the his time could be up too.

After all, he’s not a young whippersnapper still wet behind the ears, he’s 24, although he does only have just over 50 appearances for United, over 100 less than Anderson.

I don’t see the need for drastic, sweeping changes, but Moyes definitely needs to bring a midfielder in January.

When Carrick’s fit, he brings stability, but we need someone alongside him with flair, craft, stamina and an eye for goal to start attacks and hurt teams.

It’s not a crisis but the midfielders we have either need time to settle, can’t be relied on to go on forever or are simply failing to perform.

4. David de Gea needs a settled defence in front of him

IN HIS early days at the club, the Spaniard attracted a lot of criticism and you wonder whether the back four had full confidence in him.

Roles have dramatically now been reversed and you wonder if he has confidence in the men in front of him.

De Gea has gone from being an expensive flop deemed not to possess either the physical or mental toughness for the Premier League to one of the world’s most promising young goalkeepers.

Aside from Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie, he’s very close to breaking into that world class player bracket, with Barcelona sniffing around him.

It’s certainly not helping Moyes that he can’t field a regular back four, either because he can’t decide on his preferred collection or because of injuries.

Rio Ferdinand’s back has to be monitored, Nemanja Vidic in into his thirties, while Chris Smalling, Jonny Evans and Phil Jones have all had their injury troubles.

Rafael has been injured for a part of this season too and Smalling has had to fill in for him – and has done a superb defensive job I have to add this season.

Patrice Evra continues to be a threat going forward and from set pieces, but he’s not the player he was, yet Moyes doesn’t really have a suitable alternative.

I’d love for Moyes to find a settled centre back partnership and give them a run.

That would help De Gea and it would certainly help the team.

5. Superman needs some help

WAYNE Rooney’s been in absolutely stunning form this season but he can’t win all our points.

Other players need to take the attacking burden off him or at least slacken it.

Our strategy in games so far this season largely seems to be give the ball to Rooney and see what happens.

He’s a terrific player and he’s had a new lease of life under Moyes, but with the likes of Fellaini failing to make an impact so far, as well as Cleverley and Anderson, the drastic decline of Ashley Young and the inconsistency of Antonio Valencia, Nani, Danny Welbeck, Shinji Kagawa and Javier Hernandez, he’s carrying the team right now, especially in the absence of Van Persie.

Even when the Dutchman returns, a team challenging for trophies needs regular goals from a supporting cast to support their leading men.

Last season, much was made of Van Persie’s goals and we were labelled a one man team.

In truth we had lots of goal scoring contributors.

When Ferdinand volleyed in the winner against Swansea City in the penultimate game, he became our 21st different scorer of the campaign.

We had more goal scorers last year than in any other Premier League season.

So far this season, 13 players have found the net and after Rooney and Van Persie (10 each), the next highest is Hernandez with four.

Players need to step up.

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  1. Good article Matthew. Moyes worked ,miracles at Everton and the fans know it. He left the club in excellent condition in terms of ethos and attitude. I’m still not sure about his over safe approach to transfers-hence the perceived desperation to get Fellaini and Baines to the club. Maruane can be inspirational if he’s given a chance but he needs to know where he fits in. I could go on for ever here but suffice to say stick with Moyes-he’s big enough and ugly enough for the job. Best wishes, Steve, (lifelong Evertonian)

  2. Another Everton fan here. I’m not here to gloat. I’m here to dispel the notion that David Moyes worked miracles for us. First of all, his appointment as Everton manager was to keep us from being relegated in our darkest times financially. His mentality at Everton was one that focused more on negating the opposition rather than attacking them. In other words, he was a lot more like Tony Pulis than Sir Alex Ferguson. His substitutions were highly reactive, rather than proactive, and in 11 years at the helm of Everton, only mass injury could force him out of that completely uninspiring 4411 formation that we so rigidly adhered to and you’ve recently adopted. Our capitulation to the sky 4 over his tenure, particularly on the away grounds where he totaled 0 wins in 44 attempts was a disgrace. The argument that Moyes was some kind of miracle worker is the nonsense spouted by the pro Liverpool media to undermine their oldest rival’s status as a sleeping giant in world football. The truth is our wage bill during his tenure was around an average of 8th and the man broke our transfer record a whopping 4 times. Considering that we finished typically between 6th-8th, that’s not the remarkable achievement it’s made out to be. It’s just on par with our spending.

    So what was Moyes good at? Buying players. Plain and simple. He has an excellent eye for young, underrated talent and gets them on the cheap with remarkable consistency. Seamus Coleman and Tim Cahill were purchased for a combined 200k. But having a eye for talent and integrating young talent into a cohesive unit that can compete in the top 4 or for the title is something entirely different. For years, I saw players with promise played out of position or not played at all in favor of has beens and never wases. His methods took us as far as we could go. And in essence, that was nowhere.

    Let’s be real. Managers change the complexion of clubs. No team has the divine right to reside at any part of the table year in and year out. It is earned. Before SAF took over at Old Trafford, Everton had won more trophies than Manchester United. But special people change the course of history. SAF was a winner at Aberdeen before he even showed up for christ sake. Moyes proved that no matter what he did, he couldn’t win anything in over a decade with Everton. Moyes is nothing special. He never was. And your fan base is entirely correct in calling for a new manager because nothing but mediocrity will follow his tenure anywhere he goes.

  3. After reading this article, especially the beginning, the first thing that came to mind was ‘armchair fan’. Then I decided to click the author’s name and after reading through his cringe worthy and beyond fake bio, I was proven to be right.

    Do you really think fans shouldn’t be able to boo their teams when they play like shit? Moyes is nowhere near being a top manager. He is a mid table manager. Just like mid table players do extremely well for their clubs and when they move on to a bigger club they cannot replicate their form. Case in point, Fellaini.

    What kind of moron would rather United stick with an inept coach in fear of becoming like ‘Chelsea or City’? You would rather the club fail instead of rectify its mistake?

    The truth is United were turned down by a lot of managers before Moyes. Ferguson met with Guardiola in January and it has to be obvious that he talked to Pep about the United job. Mourinho also turned them down considering how weird it was that Sir Bobby came out with his comments that Mourinho wouldn’t fit United. But no, we have to remain delusional and think that Moyes was number one because of idiots like you push this agenda.

    This club needs a top class manager and the sooner, the better.

    • Re: “armchair fan” comment.

      Whereas the matchday fans left in droves after Everton’s goal and booed the team. We pay our money to support the team, surely? Booing is pathetic, especially from United fans considering the success we’ve enjoyed over the last 20 years.

      Matthew is a season ticket holder by the way. He was part of the singing section for the Sociedad game. Read his article on his experience – https://www.stretfordendarising.com/2013/11/06/old-trafford-needs-its-soul-back/

    • I dont believe Mourinho turned them down, i dont believe he was wanted and i would like to know who your source is or if you just made that up. All the posing and preening and talking Mourinho did when speaking about United showed most people and media he was desperate for it. He’s been to Chelsea he knows Abramovich meddles why would he not want to be at OT you could see him looking around in CL he was in awe.

      Getting back to Moyes i agree a fan can boo they pay to watch it, but does it help?? It creates more pressure on players

      I think Moyes will turn it around,but i think his biggest mistake was getting rid of the backroom staff, is RVP’s injury down to the dinosaur training methods the duth fa seem to think so

      one thing for sure though we should be UNITED behind the team, i am old enough to remember Fergie getting booed, if we got shot of him when the going was tough i dont think we would be where we are today

      I know he has inherited champions, and should be doing better but they are very big shoes to fill and i think winning the players around fully will take time after all they are all millionaires who have won many trophies than him,why should they listen to Moyes. I think his biggest issue at the minute is respect once he earns that i think we will be ok

  4. M u has been run by fear and officials intimidation times up m c chel arsenal move on as far as buying long way behind all bought by top euro teams m u will be behind

  5. Without the soft decisions United won the league with last year they need to let their football do the talking.

    Same football, same players different decisions.

    It is amazing what a difference of having these soft decisions can make. 11 points… or more is my guess.

    Watching the games – it is the only difference I can see – Referee are not being bullied by Moyes.

  6. I thought we were ok first half. At least we gave it. So did Everton so good game. When I saw Nani and Jarusaj warming up I thought bold move. But he put the wingers on their ‘wrong’ wing, the inverted winger thing that only Messi and Robbin have made work. So no crosses. Especially after taking Rafael off. He spent the whole first half showing Valencia how to cross a ball. And leaving Welbeck on instead of Kagawa was, I think, a mistake. Shudda left Kagawa behind Rooney, put Jarusaj on the left where he has performed so well, and Nani on the right where he is happiest. It’s slightly worrying that when he saw how easily Everton dealt with them that he didn’t switch them. The ability to think and act quickly under pressure is a necessary string to a manager’s bow. Bit of a worry then. Let’s hope Santa brings us something in the January sales.

  7. The “transition” was badly handled,from SAF’s surprise announcement to the lateness of Moyes actually taking over at OT.Then came the farces in the transfer market and we ended up with a 27,000,000 pound (!!!) grafter instead of what we really need in midfield.
    Moyes had lots of credibilty in June after so many years of keeping Everton up there on a limited budget, but it was the credibility of the potential top manager. Mark Huges at Blackburn & Martin O’Neill at Leicester had a similar reputation many years ago.
    We are in uncharted waters with a dysfunctional squad,new management team -some with virtually no experience – and a series of other clubs playing well & deservedly above us.
    After 14 games we are almost as near to the relegation zone as we are to 1st spot.Football clubs are extremely opaque, so gossip is what we base our comments on.As for Real Madrid, it would be more accurate to say that Perez signed the new players,not Ancelotti.
    The cruel truth is that if we lose tomorrow and the other top clubs win,we’ll be fighting for 4th and nothing else.We had some fun at City’s expense last season about their tepid defence of the title, but this could turn out to be the worst ever by defending champions.
    Unfortunately.at least for the moment, I see no cause for optimism.

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