A look at the Fulham team sheet which was made up of unknown quantities would have filled United fans with glee and hope. Call it arrogance but considering Fulham’s form, nothing short of a victory was expected.
But alas Moyes and to a lesser extent some of the players conspired to ensure the team’s nightmarish season so far continues unabated.
The fact that United struggled against a Fulham side which was obliterated 6-0 by Hull, and with the worst defensive record in the premier league pretty much casts serious doubts on the team’s chances and really puts into perspective how low the team have sunk under Moyes.
There are people who believe the blame should fall squarely on the players and that they are not doing enough for the team. Even though that argument has merit, I strongly disagree with it and blame the coach for the team’s current woes. This match served as a clear case in point why Moyes is not suitable or fit for United.
The team’s display was pretty much one dimensional, straightforward, rigid, joyless and lacked dynamism. It seemed the team had just one objective; send the ball out wide and cross and cross and cross. United made a total of 81 crosses (The highest so far in any PL match since Opta started gathering data in 2006).Now Mata has even made more crosses in 3 games for United than he did during the first half of the league for Chelsea. The team clearly lacked a plan B and made it easy for Fulham to defend against it. This is quite worrying. Someone once said Moyes lacks the match-altering touch and the genius to out think his opponent. On the basis of his United career so far, I cannot help but agree fully with this assertion. I mean which serious coach would start Young and bench Januzaj? What has Young done to merit a place on the bench not to even talk of him being in the starting 11? And why play a 4-4-2 system with Mata as a winger on the right hand side? Why did he stubbornly refuse to alter his tactics when things were not working out? For the coach of the league’s bottom club to suggest we were far predictable and easy to defend against is proof enough of Moyes’ tactical ineptitude on the day.
So far this season Moyes’ post match comments have been nothing but inspiring. For him to admit in his post match interview that he believes the team lost his mental strength in the match is deeply worrying. For a team made up of trophy (ies) winners to lose its mental strength playing against the leagues bottom club who were just coming out of damaging defeats to Southampton and Sheffield Wednesday and playing at home too should make the gaffer question his credentials and his effect on the team. He also risks creating discontent in the dressing room as some of the senior players would not be happy with this statement. (Well for once, he did not mention luck as the cause of the teams defeat).
It now seems making the top four is beyond United now and barring any miraculous recovery and monumental failure by Liverpool and maybe Spurs and Everton, the team should be happy with the 7th position it is currently occupying come May if performances like this are what is going to be churned out every other week.
FF on twitter @BaanNaab