02/01/2014 06:12 GMT | Updated 23/01/2014 10:52 GMT

Six Things Wrong With Manchester United

Michael Regan via Getty Images
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 01: Manchester United Manager David Moyes walks with mascot Fred the Red prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on January 1, 2014 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

David Moyes suffered his sixth Premier League defeat as Manchester United manager on New Year's Day and the champions are now 11 points adrift of pace-setters Arsenal.

United have progressed to the semi-finals of the Capital One Cup and the last 16 of the Champions League, with an FA Cup third-round tie at home to Swansea to look forward to on Sunday, but their League form is alarming.

Four of the six losses have come at home, as West Brom, Everton and Newcastle lifted their hexes at Old Trafford, and the Reds have won just one of their eight games against the top eight sides.

Here's six things wrong with Moyes's side...


An obvious point, but United's idealism has backfired spectacularly this season, as Sir Alex Ferguson was effectively allowed to employ one of his mates to replace him ahead of a two-time European Cup winning coach. The club have operated behind a phoney facade under the Glazer family and elevate the shallow romanticism associated with United, and that extended to employing a British manager who, the club boasted, was "cut from the same cloth" as his predecessor.

David Moyes is struggling to justify Sir Alex Ferguson's decision to appoint him


Ferguson stood still some summers, but was such a great manager he could go on to win the Premier League having bought no one, like in 1995, or a Fulham reserve, an unknown Mexican and a Portuguese vagrant, like he did in 2010. Moyes had targets, but the club were too busy signing up an official tyre partner and tying up other frivolous commercial ventures, as well as readying excuses for an amateurish summer window. United are so over-reliant on Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie that both strikers have started defeats when they were clearly unfit and Rooney, like Van Persie last month, is expected to be sidelined as a consequence of playing 90 minutes against Tottenham.


For someone so staunchly against diving, Moyes has seen a number of his players ignore his calls to cut it out. Ashley Young, Adnan Januzaj, Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck have all been guilty of simulation this season, which is not only unbecoming, but arguably a reflection of how little respect players have for Moyes at Old Trafford. While Ferguson was not as vehemently appalled by diving, he would have a word behind closed doors, and it is possible certain players' defiance stems from them not appreciating Moyes's candour. Rio Ferdinand has also questioned Moyes's selection policy.


United are perhaps the worst and best, depending on how you look at it, example of a big club who countenance poor form. Players like Antonio Valencia, Tom Cleverley and Patrice Evra continue to start despite dismal displays, with the loaned out Nick Powell a more exciting alternative, while Moyes is reluctant to give Fábio da Silva a chance at full-back. United's best creative outlet in central midfield, gallingly, remains Ryan Giggs or Wayne Rooney.

Patrice Evra has been in decline since the 2010 World Cup


This was perhaps inevitable, and Moyes might wield the axe more widely in the summer. Aside from Evra and Cleverley, Ferdinand and Michael Carrick have struggled under Moyes, Javier Hernández is about as threatening as a Mariachi performer, Shinji Kagawa doesn't effect games and Jonny Evans looks slower. The only individual success stories of Moyes's brief reign are Januzaj and Rooney, while Welbeck has begun to score regularly.

Photo gallery United 1-2 Tottenham See Gallery


An easy one to end on, and Moyes is no where near as much at fault as Ferguson, but for the 10th consecutive transfer window United are in need of midfield reinforcements. There is such a dearth of creative quality and insufficient cover for the back four it is surprising more teams have not exposed United through the middle.