Jon Super/Associated Press
There are mitigating circumstances to Manchester United's struggles this season. United's woes are not all David Moyes' fault.
They have been well documented: David Gill's departure compounding the problems caused by Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement, the struggles in the summer, and midfield issues that have not been addressed for several seasons. It's a well-worn path of genuine reasons why Moyes' task is even more astronomical than it might have been.
In the last two games, the residual hopes I have for David Moyes proving those of us who doubted his appointment wrong have taken something of a beating.
Of course, his job is not to convince his doubters, but that would be a happy byproduct of him getting the basics right.
United's tactics felt archaic in this game. They put a simply staggering number of crosses into the box. Eventually 18 of 81 crosses were deemed by Squawka.com to be "successful." Which means, of course, that Manchester United put 63 unsuccessful crosses into the box.
The maxim that "the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results" would appear to have some meaningful application here. Both in terms of United's pattern of play this season—and specifically during this game.
This was not a game in which the fact that key players let Moyes down was the ultimate reason for the inability to get three points at home against a side at the bottom of the league (although let him down they did).
This was a game that was absolutely crying out for some more nuanced invention, and Moyes' tactics simply did not allow for it.
Fulham barely tried to stop United crossing the ball in the first half. They just, with reasonable comfort, dealt with cross, after cross, after cross. United were very visibly playing away from their own strengths and into Fulham's.
That it finally paid off and the relentless percentage football approach led to two goals was not enough to justify the lack of variety. The punishment of Fulham's equaliser felt almost deserved, because there is more to football than hitting the flanks and knocking the ball into the box.