David Moyes Must Take Responsibility for Manchester United's Poor Start

Rob Dawson@@RobDawsonMENManchester United CorrespondentSeptember 30, 2013

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 28:  Manchester United manager David Moyes looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford on September 28, 2013 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

The problems are mounting for David Moyes at Manchester United.

Three defeats in the last four Premier League games. 12th in the table, already eight points behind leaders Arsenal. The club's worst start to a season in 24 years.

They've scored from open play in just one of their six league games. Moreover, outside the bottom three, only Swansea and Newcastle have conceded more goals.

After the 2-1 home defeat to West Brom on Saturday, Moyes told the Manchester Evening News that "it was a poor result and a poor performance."

He's not kidding. He's been brutally honest about his team's failings, branding the 4-1 defeat at City as "embarrassing" in the post-match interview (h/t MEN). It was. He hinted afterwards that his starting XI is missing two key players. It is.

Last week, he told the MEN that his squad might not have the required quality to win the Champions League. It doesn't.

United fans aren't used to their manager being so open. Sir Alex Ferguson would back his players to the hilt in public, often exaggerating their qualities for the benefit of the cameras. He could criticise with the best of them, but only when the dressing room door was shut.

There are plenty of people to blame for United's rocky start to the season.

Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward must take his share for his role in missing out on top targets during the transfer window.

The players should be in the firing line too.

Moyes can't control Rio Ferdinand allowing Daniel Agger to win the header in the buildup to Daniel Sturridge's goal at Anfield.

And he can't plan for Ashley Young having a nightmare against City.

Ultimately, though, the responsibility for poor performances lies with him. He accepted it the minute he agreed to take the reins. The same squad, minus Paul Scholes, won the title by 11 points last season.

If Moyes didn't think the same group could be successful again, then he shouldn't have taken the job. 

As United struggled to make a signing this summer, he told the Daily Mail that he could work with what he had. "There is a need for me to sign players. But there's no pressure. If the right players are available then great. If not then we will encourage our own young players," he said.

However, that's at odds with his comments after the defeats to City and West Brom.

He still has plenty of time to turn things around and make the 'Moyes Out' brigade look extremely foolish.

If nothing else, he's learned that, at Old Trafford, you're never more than one game way from a crisis. United were booed off on Saturday—the fans have that right after paying to watch such a poor performance.

But Moyes was given a warm-ish reception as he walked along the touchline at the final whistle.

It showed that the supporters are still on his sideat least for now. The recovery must start with Moyes, though, and it must start now.

Two more bad results at Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday and at Sunderland on Saturday and Moyes might find the goodwill starting to wane.

Plenty at Old Trafford are guilty of aiding and abetting, but the responsibility lies with Moyes.


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