Manchester United’s 3-0 home defeat to Liverpool on Sunday was the 12th in all competitions this season under new manager David Moyes. There have been 10 defeats in the Premier League alone, leaving United on just 48 points – some 16 behind the same stage last season.
It is a run that leaves United out of the FA and Capital One cups, seventh in the Premier League, with little prospect of claiming a Champions League spot next season, and on the precipice of exiting European competition to Olympiakos. In short it t has been a season of almost unmitigated disaster.
Worse, United’s style of play has deteriorated to such an extent that Moyes’ side is almost entirely predictable – from team selection, to a succession of aimless crosses delivered without variety. It is probably the most turgid brand of United football since the late 1970s, with little blueprint for a return to success evident.
Yet, there have been positives, not least Adnan Januzaj’s introduction to the first team, while playmaker Juan Mata should become a world-class addition to United’s midfield. Moreover, this remains Sir Alex Ferguson’s team – and an ageing one at that. Supporters of the new manager maintain that Moyes needs time to build a side in his own image.
Moyes also retains significant support, both in the dressing room and in the boardroom. Ed Woodward, Bobby Charlton, Ferguson and the Glazer family are reportedly unwilling to countenance dismissing the 50-year-old Scot.
But the court of public opinion still counts, and United supporters will dictate the atmosphere in which Moyes operates, if not create pressure for change.