Manchester United

Manchester United: Why David Moyes' Complacent Mindset Is Hurting the Reds

David Moyes needs to change the way he's thinking now that he's at United
David Moyes needs to change the way he's thinking now that he's at UnitedStu Forster/Getty Images
Jake NisseFeatured ColumnistNovember 27, 2013

Upon his arrival to Manchester United it was expected that David Moyes would struggle early on to create effective starting line-ups, build tactics around his new squad, and adjust to his new position overall.

What was not expected, however, was Moyes' complacency with United's mediocre results.

His comments after the Reds' 2-2 draw with newly promoted side Cardiff City were astonishing, as Grantland's Chris Ryan said he sounded a lot more like an Everton manager than a United one:

Disappointed…It was similar to Southampton when we had the game under control with a minute to go and then we conceded from a set piece. We can’t keep dropping two points and we could have played better, but it’s a tough place to come after international duty and I would have taken the result before the game.

While it is one thing for United to drop points, it is another for Moyes to be okay with it. Ryan's notion that Moyes sounds more like an Everton manager is completely accurate, as a team with bundles of world class players should go into every game expecting to win, no matter who, or where they're playing.

Though many would argue that, at the moment, United would be underdogs against the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool, going into a match playing for a draw is not how United do business.

Manchester City have lost some games to inferior teams, but their fans can at least take solace in the fact that they're scoring plenty of goals and making an effort to play attacking football
Manchester City have lost some games to inferior teams, but their fans can at least take solace in the fact that they're scoring plenty of goals and making an effort to play attacking footballAlex Livesey/Getty Images

Instead, Moyes continues to play it safe with a 4-2-3-1 formation, as six of the 10 field players are defensive-minded. This formation will probably allow United to play stout defence and grind out victories, but will fail to truly play the fluid, attacking football that United fans have become so accustomed to seeing over the years.

Through 12 games United have scored just 20 times, including only eight in six at Old Trafford, leaving Mancunians much to desire from their team at the Theatre of Dreams.

However, this formation did work for United under Sir Alex Ferguson, and has been tried and tested throughout the world, making it somewhat unfair to expect Moyes to stray from it. Rather than playing defensive-minded, uncreative players like Phil Jones and Antonio Valencia, Moyes needs to give more time to playmakers such as Adnan Januzaj and Shinji Kagawa. 

Kagawa and Januzaj should be on the field most games for United, though they sometimes find themselves on the bench
Kagawa and Januzaj should be on the field most games for United, though they sometimes find themselves on the benchJamie McDonald/Getty Images

Despite both seeing an uptick in playing time recently, they remain questionable starters every week, unable to solidify their places in Moyes' XI.

Ultimately, Moyes' complacency with United's current sixth place position is causing him to manage the team extremely conservatively and settle for mediocre results.

With some more calculated risks taken, and a little more belief in his squad, maybe United can start to work their way up the table.

All stats and info via ESPNFC

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