Under-Fire David Moyes Is Being Let Down by His Players at Manchester United

Rob DawsonManchester United CorrespondentDecember 7, 2013

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 07:  A dejected David Moyes the Manchester United manager walks off the pitch following his team's 1-0 defeat during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Newcastle United at Old Trafford on December 7, 2013 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

The responsibility for Manchester United's awful run of form lies with David Moyes. Of course it does.

He inherited a squad of players who won the Premier League title by 11 points last season. But four months into this season, United have lost five times, including three losses at home. They have suffered back-to-back defeats at Old Trafford for the first time since 2002, and they are only barely in the top half of the table.

"Crisis" is used too much in football; the big teams never seem to be more than one game away from disaster. But United haven't won in the Premier League for nearly a month, drawing two and losing two of their four games. That's a crisis.

Moyes will take the stick for United's dire run. But he can't shoulder all the blame. Standing on the touchline, there's very little he can do after he sends out his team. He lives and dies by the performances of his players, and at the moment, they're letting him down.

United have suffered two home defeats in the space of four days, both of them coming on the back of individual mistakes.

It was Antonio Valencia who switched off against Everton, allowing Bryan Oviedo to sneak in to score the winner in the final minutes.

And against Newcastle, it was Patrice Evra who let Moussa Sissoko cross for Yohan Cabaye's second-half strike.

They were two awful mistakes, basic errors caused by a lack of concentration. Moyes can't legislate for that.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 07:  Yohan Cabaye #4 of Newcastle celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Newcastle United at Old Trafford on December 7, 2013 in Manchester, England.
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Had those two mistakes not been made, United wouldn't have lost twice inside a week. They would have stretched their unbeaten run to 14 games, and things would look a little better. Not much better, but a little.

There is much wrong with United. Not only have they lost twice at home this week, they've also failed to score in either game. United have been beaten at home plenty of times before, but not like this.

They go down fighting, throwing everything at the opposition until sometimes they run out of time. But there was no barrage against Everton. And the kitchen sink stayed where it was in the dying minutes against Newcastle.

It led Moyes to point the finger at his forward players, via the Manchester Evening News, for not creating enough chances.

"We've lacked a little bit of creativity at the right times and when we've a chance to win some passes but not quite made them.

"We've lost the two games 1-0 and both have probably been slightly against the run of play we've lost them and that happens, we have to expect that here.

"So we have to create more chances and more opportunities and play better. That's the way to do it."

But before he delves into the reasons why United look tired and lethargic, he must first find a way to get rid of the individual mistakes. There is little he can do in that department apart from trust his players to get it right. And they must; otherwise the Scot's tenure at Old Trafford will be short.

Make no mistake—Moyes is under pressure and under fire. But he has every right to divert some the fans' anger onto his players.