Manchester United: Why David Moyes May Not Fix the Reds' Problems Anytime Soon

Jake Nisse@@jake_nisse_BRFeatured ColumnistOctober 2, 2013

David Moyes is already feeling the pressure seven games in at United.
David Moyes is already feeling the pressure seven games in at United.Julian Finney/Getty Images

In an atrocious start to to his first season as Manchester United manager, David Moyes has seen his side gain only seven points from six games, putting them in an unfamiliar 12th place.

Though Moyes will likely get a season or two at least to get things under control, and few people are panicking, there are many questions to be asked of the Scottish manager.

One point of discussion among United fans will be Moyes' lack of tactical prowess.

He is already making good use of United's squad depth, starting 20 players thus far as opposed to 17 at Everton all of last season.

However, many are wondering whether he is capable of maintaining the free-flowing attacking play United have come to be known far.

Differing from the play style of Sir Alex Ferguson, United have been playing slowly and without creativity for David Moyes.

United have been playing far more long balls this year than the last.
United have been playing far more long balls this year than the last.

There's no doubt that United still have plenty of creative and pacy players in their squad, as Wilfried Zaha, Nani and Shinji Kagawa have often struggled to see time on the field.

Yet it seems Moyes may be incapable of extracting that creativity from them like Sir Alex could.

Sir Alex was often regarded as a manager who gets the most out of his players, explaining how a current 12th-placed team was champions last season.

Last season, United played an intricate, tedious, style of play, as they ranked 17th in the league with only 59 long passes per game, per WhoScored. This season, United have been passing more carelessly, ranking third in the EPL with 67 long passes per game.

In addition, the absence of penetrating attacking play has led to United going from nine percent to four percent of their shots being taken in the box.

The immense statistical change in a span of only one year shows how Moyes has brought his uninventive, and unattractive football to United.

He needs to realize quickly that the frequent sending of long balls will not satisfy United fans, and that his players are capable of doing so much more than mindlessly launching the ball down the flanks.

Only time will tell whether Moyes is able to replicate the Sir Alex-era playing style, but three losses already should tell him that change is needed.

While Moyes' tactical prowess isn't great, United fans can hardly say that they have the best squad in the league either.

After an unproductive summer in the transfer window, United seem to be inferior to Manchester City, Chelsea, and maybe even Arsenal in squad strength.

United probably have more depth than Liverpool and Spurs, but they have comparable starting lineups to United after fruitful summers respectively.

Per Sky Sports, Moyes says that United don't have enough world-class players to win the Champions League.

Under Sir Alex Ferguson and executive David Gill, the solution to this problem would be to simply buy players.

But that simplicity no longer remains.

As shown from the summer transfer market, the world's elite players would rather play for coaches such as Manuel Pelligrini, Jose Mourinho, and Pep Guardiola than they would for David Moyes.

The truth is that these managers are viewed as "sexier" names than the Scot, whose gritty style of play differs from the creative and delicate styles of Manchester City, Chelsea, and Bayern Munich.

United still like to consider themselves a top destination for elite players, often bidding against these clubs for the services of players.

But what does a 12th-placed team with a tactically unsound coach have to offer over any of these clubs?

Very, very little.

The Telegraph reports that Moyes will be given the funds necessary to improve United's squad in January, but money will give them little advantage over other the aforementioned clubs who are equally if not more rich than the Reds.

In fact, they're at a disadvantage to these clubs with their poor performance thus far and their ugly style of play.

Until he has any success or shows any promise, elite players will stay away from United, and Moyes will need to work internally to find a solution to the club's problems.

Whether it be the long-awaited EPL introduction of Wilfried Zaha, a bigger role for Shinji Kagawa or a more attacking position for Marouane Fellaini, Moyes needs to tamper with his squad to get United winning games again.

And if that doesn't happen, well, goodbye David Moyes.

(All stats and info via ESPNFC unless otherwise indicated)



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