What the Man United Team Against Norwich Revealed About David Moyes' Plans
David Moyes' team selection against Norwich in the Capital One Cup was intriguing, and not just because of the strength of the side he fielded.
He might have had Sir Alex Ferguson's call to win "any trophy" playing in his head as he sent out a team which included Rafael, Tom Cleverley, Adnan Januzaj and Ashley Young with Wayne Rooney on the bench.
At the same stage of last season's competition, Manchester United were knocked out by Chelsea with Michael Keane and Scott Wootton at centre-back. This time, tellingly, it was Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic.
Whether Moyes would be taking the competition quite so seriously if United were sat top of the Premier League instead of eighth is impossible to know. But targeting the Capital One Cup is a shrewd move given that, at the moment, success in the Premier League or Champions League looks some way off.
But aside from the collective strength of the team, the most interesting footnote was the inclusion of Phil Jones.
But against Norwich he was pushed into midfield alongside Cleverley.
There was no need for Jones to play, especially with Anderson, who's in desperate need of games, on the bench. It looked like an audition for the enforcer's role.
It's the position Marouane Fellaini should be playing. But he's been an unused substitute in the two games since his disastrous performance in the draw with Southampton. And with the Belgian cup-tied for the game against Norwich, Moyes may have decided it was the perfect chance to give someone else a go.
If Moyes wants a physical presence in his midfield he only has two options—Fellaini and Jones.
The two are well-acquainted after Jones was told to man-mark Fellaini in United's 2-0 win over Everton at Old Trafford last season.
With due respect to Jones' undoubted talent, he's used in midfield as a wrecking ball. He's not there to spray 50-yard balls to all corners or to tika-taka his way up the field in beautiful passing triangles.
Is Phil Jones a better option in midfield than Marouane Fellaini?
He's there to seek and destroy, and it's something he does very well. Better, it must be said, than Fellaini has done in a United shirt.
Moyes' team selection at Fulham on Saturday will reveal more about how he views his midfield conundrum. Fellaini was signed for days like this. Tough games away from home where the midfield can resemble a battleground.
Fit and rested, there's no reason why Fellaini shouldn't start. But now he's got Jones breathing down his neck.
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