World Cup Final Expert Predictions

Key Battles in Cup Final

Why Manchester United's Lack of Leadership on the Pitch Is to Blame This Season

Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse more stories
Why Manchester United's Lack of Leadership on the Pitch Is to Blame This Season
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Manchester United's poor start to the season was, in part, to be expected.

Here we have a football club, with a set of supporters who have forgotten what it is like to lose, in the broader sense of the word.

A worldwide fanbase spoiled on the elixir of trophies, and dining out on a rotation of success that has lasted for a whole generation. 

Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

There was always going to be a stock market crash at some point.

We all know that David Moyes is not Sir Alex Ferguson, but in a perverse manner the expectations of the man are somewhat higher than those of the great master who stepped aside. Fans and pundits alike can wax lyrical about Moyes having "time" to get it right at Manchester United, but this is based on a false economy.

The club demands success, and anything outside of the top four will be deemed a disaster. If Moyes does not deliver the bare minimum in his first season, he will be sacked. The Glazers have too many commercial concerns to allow failure on the pitch to occur. 

The blame and punishment will lie with the manager should the worst eventually happen. However, the real culprits are currently coasting along, with minimal criticism.

One of the key problems for United at the moment is the lack of leadership on the pitch.

Alex Livesey/Getty Images

One of Sir Alex's greatest magic tricks was to have several captains on the playing field at once. In recent years Nemanja Vidic has had ample support in numbers when having to motivate the team.

The likes of Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra were present, along with the experience of Paul Scholes, Michael Carrick and Ryan Giggs. 

Robin van Persie has been a club captain at Arsenal, and Wayne Rooney has worn the armband for the "Red Devils" on occasions. United is a club flooded full of leaders.

So where have they all gone?

The biggest difference with this United team is not the change in manager, but the change in application and attitude from its senior professionals.

The likes of Vidic and Evra, the skipper and his deputy, are both the most culpable.

They are the two who United need to be driving the team on the pitch, both physically and verbally, and their contribution has not been enough.

Maybe the loss of Ferguson has affected them psychologically, but these greatly decorated professionals should be giving more than they currently do.

The senior players need to stand up and be counted. United's capitulation in certain matches has been down to a lack of focus and discipline. The leaders on the pitch cannot hide from their elevated responsibilities. 

The transition from one regime to another was always going to be difficult, but the players who have supplied United fans with many great memories need to start performing to the maximum, or alternatively move aside so Moyes can build a brand new era.  

If the current club captain cannot give to his new manager what he gave to his last, the armband should be moved along swiftly. The likes of Jonny Evans and Phil Jones embody what the football club is all about, two younger players with the fire to lead a team into combat.

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Evans is no longer one of the kids. At 25 years of age, he is now United's primary centre-back. Away from the television cameras, when viewed in the flesh, it is clear how important he is in terms of organisation to the team.

He constantly demands that his defensive partners are at their best and he leads by example.

Who should be Man Utd's next club captain?

Submit Vote vote to see results

As great as Vidic has been for United, this side of his game has gone into decline. This could be because he no longer is an automatic pick but more is expected of a player with his qualities.

David Moyes needs to act fast, and find the leaders who will drive his plan forward. If those leaders do currently not play for Manchester United, then the Glazer family have to back him in the transfer market to purchase them.

Without leaders, Manchester United is nothing. The tenure of David Moyes will be remembered as an abject failure if the senior players continue in the manner that they currently are.  

Load More Stories
Manchester United

Subscribe Now

We will never share your email address

Thanks for signing up.