Grading David Moyes' Early Weeks at Manchester United
Manchester United boss David Moyes is well aware all eyes are on him this season.
Following in Sir Alex Ferguson's footsteps is a near-impossible proposition, but the Scotsman will do his best to bring copious amounts of silverware to Old Trafford.
Though he is only two games into his tenure, this article will grade Moyes' early weeks in five categories: Transfer Activity, Team Morale, Tactical Setup, Team Selection and Media Relations.
Transfer Activity: F
There isn't really any grade Moyes can receive for his transfer activity to date other than an F.
There seems to be a growing list of players who have turned down approaches made by the Red Devils, most notably Thiago Alcantara, Cesc Fabregas and Robert Lewandowski.
In June, it was reported by The Telegraph that Moyes had been handed a budget of £60 million to spend by club owners the Glazers.
That money must still be sitting in a chest somewhere, untouched.
It is not too late for United to make a significant signing this summer, but it's getting there.
Team Morale: A-
Almost all the messages coming out of Old Trafford from the players are positive.
The squad seems to have universally taken to Moyes, and are keen to regain the Premier League title against the odds.
For example, take Michael Carrick's recent comments about the Scotsman.
Speaking to the club's official website, the holding midfielder said:
The tour has been really good so far and there is a great atmosphere around the place. The manager has brought that in. He’s enthusiastic and energetic and intense with his work, and that’s rubbed off on everyone.
The one exception is Wayne Rooney, whose silence speaks a thousand words.
Tactical Setup: B+
Moyes has appeared flexible in his tactical setup in the Red Devils' opening few fixtures.
Against Swansea City, the side resembled a 4-3-3 with Danny Welbeck and Antonio Valencia either side of Robin van Persie.
Moyes reverted to type when his team took on Chelsea this week, playing a 4-2-3-1 with Rooney in the hole.
The Red Devils have looked well organised and well disciplined, putting pressure on opponents higher up the pitch. The defence especially has looked terrific.
Though they have occasionally looked a little lacking in creativity and incisiveness up front, the basis is there to move forward.
Team Selection: B
It is hard to criticise Moyes' team selection when he is yet to lose a game.
However, there are a few players who seem to be unfairly on the fringe of the first team at present.
The Scotsman seems to have a preference for homegrown British stock, as opposed to the international contingent at Old Trafford.
Shinji Kagawa is the man with most reason to complain. The Japanese playmaker was rightly expected to be the side's trequartista this term.
Moyes must be praised for his continued faith in the excellent Phil Jones, though.
The proof, as they say, is in the pudding, and so far the pudding has been sweet for Moyes.
A resounding 4-1 win at Swansea City headlines the three results so far, one against worthy opposition.
The team's Community Shield triumph over Wigan Athletic was dominant, and the Red Devils were the better side in the 0-0 draw with Chelsea this week.
It was only due to a monumentally defensive display from the Blues that prevented United from achieving their attacking potential.
With Liverpool at Anfield to come, things are only going to become more challenging for the Scotsman.