#84 Not Keane on Moyes
During this week’s episode of the Can They Score podcast, we look back at the Crystal Palace performance and the abysmal “Greek Tragedy” in Athens, before moving on to discussing the Moyes situation. Finally, we have heated discussion about Twiglets, taffies, wine and beer. We hope that this week’s podcast can bring some joy amidst the doom and gloom surrounding the club at the moment.
A Broken Manchester United
Broken. That’s the one word that sums up Manchester United right now.
There’s a lot that’s broken. The fans’ faith for one. After Saturday’s game against Crystal Palace, there was a new sense of belief. Rooney had signed a new contract, scored a lovely goal and the team seemed to want to play football. That hope, that incredibly small glimmer of hope, was shattered into a thousand pieces last night when Gianluca Rocchi blew the final whistle in the Karaiskákis Stadium.
Many fans, myself included, saw last night as the point of no return for David Moyes. The team, sauntering around the pitch, failed to close down and challenge an Olympiakos side who, albeit incredibly good at home, should never have posed a threat to a team like Manchester United. The problem is, they did. Manchester United made Olympiakos feel like they were the team to be feared.
The last point has been one of the major issues all season, repeated over and over again by bloggers, journalists and pundits. The fear factor has disappeared. The only team, this season, who have seemed remotely scared of Manchester United were Leverkusen, and look what happened. The fans were blessed with a rare, exciting performance under David Moyes.
The defeats against Newcastle, West Brom, Everton and so forth exemplify this. Something needs to change.
I think I speak for the vast majority of supporters when I say that last night really hurt. Just like breaking a leg, watching your favoured team collapse in front of you is painful.
The players look like they have given up on their manager and last night felt like a message. The Champions League was the last straw for Manchester United fans to clutch at and Olympiakos got to it first to help them take their own victory sip. Even Van Persie, normally as relaxed as they come, vented a bit of frustration after the match, stating that other players were getting in his way and were hindering his game. Whether this was a dig at Moyes’ tactics or at his teammates, it’s not exactly clear, but it shows how low the morale is in Manchester United’s dressing room.
Sacking Moyes now seems like the easy way out. I wrote a piece after the Swansea defeat in the FA Cup on this very website asking for fans to stay behind David Moyes and support him whilst he is here, but I would be lying if I said that, since then, the thought of him leaving hadn’t crossed my mind.
Getting rid of Moyes before the West Brom game would certainly go against everything the club has said over the past year about giving the new manager time. The lack of eligible candidates to replace him is also a problem. Many have suggested Heynckes. Unfortunately, the former Borussia Mönchengladbach striker has retired from football after leaving on a high and would be foolish to taint such a perfect ending to a managerial career by helping Manchester United try and reach 5th in the Premier League.
The only realistic and eligible option is Hiddink, but with the club, barring a miracle in the return leg at Old Trafford, already on its way out of the Champions League, there is really nothing left for an interim manager to play for. Whether the club gets a Europa League spot or not is not something many Manchester United fans care about and, let’s be honest, it would probably hinder next season a fair bit.
If Moyes is to leave, the summer is the best time. The season will be over and other managers will be more willing to leave their current clubs and try and be the one to turn things around at one of the greatest football clubs in the world.
Moyes is not entirely to blame for this season’s failures (Elijah’s very good piece from a week or so ago analyses how problems at the club go a lot deeper than just the manager), but it does seem like the Scotsman has come in and become some sort of Wreck-It Ralph. The lack of Fix-It Felixes out there means that all we can do is hope that Moyes manages to end the season on a good vein of form and let the club analyse this season with plenty of time to make a level-headed decision in the summer.
They say patience is a virtue. Well, it seems now has come the time to become very virtuous.
#83 The Wolf of Wayne Street
During this week’s episode of the Can They Score podcast, we discuss the two performances vs the London teams before moving onto the sensitive subject of Wayne Rooney’s new contract. Finally, we discuss the two upcoming games against Palace and Olympiakos whilst hoping that this week’s podcast can bring some joy amidst the doom and gloom surrounding the club at the moment.
MATA INTERVIEW WITH CANAL+
After recently moving from Chelsea to Manchester United during the January transfer window, new fan favourite Juan Mata decided to open up to Canal+ in Spain and talk about his relationship with David Moyes, how De Gea harassed him constantly about making the move and much more. Below is a (near) full transcript of the interview.
On Manchester United’s interest:
I knew there was an interest, although I didn’t realise it was true until the two clubs started talking to each other. Chelsea told me there was an offer, an important offer. In the end, I did it due to the situation I was in over the past few months, and the opportunity to be at Manchester United, one of the biggest clubs in the world. When you’re looking from the outside, you think it is, but it’s only when you are a part of it that you realise that it really is one of the biggest clubs in the world. Here I am, very happy in this new city, in this new step in my career, and I hope that everything will go well.
On whether he feels any pressure:
No, no. Simply no. Because when I’m on the pitch, all I think about is playing, enjoying myself and feeling comfortable, like I always have. At the end of the day, the price of transfers during the window is something for clubs to sort out and as players, we have nothing to do with it. What we have to do is turn up, train, enjoy the training and enjoy the football. In the end, everything happened so quickly. I know that I have responsibilities, but this doesn’t stop me from enjoying it and producing on the pitch.
On the club’s objectives:
The objective is to get to the Champions League spots. It’s difficult because Liverpool are doing well, so are Arsenal, as well as Tottenham and Everton, who are all clubs also fighting for them, but I think we have a team who can do it. This is Manchester United. When this club wins two, three or four matches in a row, it has a very important mental strength, a winner’s mentality. We are coming and I think we can do it, but we have to win a lot of games first.
On his first time out at Old Trafford as a Manchester United player:
It was really emotional. It was incredible. I’d already played there as the away team, but playing there as the home team, just imagine. The stadium is huge, the fans are very dedicated to singing and it was all good, because we won, I found myself on the pitch surrounded by top quality players and from the off, the first training session, they have helped me integrate as best possible. Physically, I hadn’t trained a lot the previous week, but I feel good.
On his new teammates:
I’ve known David (De Gea) since we played for the national team at youth level. The week before I arrived, he was hassling me and when I arrived I stayed with him. Everyone has received me well, but he has been the one who has gone out of his way the most.
I didn’t know Giggs, but I had and still have a lot of admiration and respect for him. He’s been really good. He has helped me from the very beginning, made sure everything went perfectly. It’s a pleasure that he’s here and it’s a pleasure for me to play alongside a player like him. To reach 40 and still be playing at this level is fantastic.
Van Persie, Rooney, Chicharito, Welbeck. These are all players who always score goals. Playing with them is a pleasure. I got an assist for Van Persie and what’s great about playing with them is that if you pass them the ball, it’s a goal. It’s a goal pretty much every time.
On David Moyes & the club:
More than anything, he made me feel important and I think that’s fundamental when you arrive at such a big club that has made a huge investment in you. It’s nice when the manager tells you “Juan, you’re important to the team and we need you on the ball as much as possible” and that’s what I try to do. My relationship with him is good, friendly and from the off, he seemed to me to be a great person.
This is a club that should always be fighting for the Premier League. I think, in the last 20 or 21 years, they’ve won 13 times. The mentality of this club is to win and fight for all the trophies. Unfortunately this year, things haven’t gone so well in the league, but I believe there is still time this season. With the mentality and the staff that we have, I believe we can climb up the table and win as many games as possible.
There are good people here. First and foremost young people. When you play for Manchester United it’s difficult because you have a lot of responsibillity. I don’t know what will happen in the summer but the manager said the other day at a press conference that he’s going to be signing players. I think this club is at a stage of change, a bit of change in the project, but as I’ll tell you, at this club the best players in the world will always arrive.
On Sir Alex Ferguson and the future:
All he has done here, everything Ferguson has complished is pretty much unattainable. He has won everything possible to win with this club in the last 20-25 years and it’s tough to maintain such a level of excellence. But at the end of the day, it was these players that won the league last season. And the new manager has arrived knowing what this club is. I think he has a great relationship with Sir Alex Ferguson and with time everything will get better, the results will get better and we’ll get back to being where this club deserves to be.
On Mourinho and Chelsea:
We spoke and he [Mourinho] said that he thought this was a good option for me, and I told him I thought this was a good option for me. We didn’t speak for long. I wasn’t playing, and to be honest, I am happy when I play football. It’s the thing I like to do the most. He wished me good luck and told me to be good, as did everyone at the club [Chelsea]. I’m very grateful for my time at Chelsea and for all the trophies I have won. We had a fantastic relationship, I had great relationships with several of my teammates. They weren’t just my teammates, but my friends. Fernando [Torres] for example. I was very saddend to tell him I was leaving him. It was tough to tell him I was going because he is a very important person to me, but we’ll keep in touch we aren’t that far away from each other.
I’ve already had a tour around the city! The other day I was having dinner with David Silva and he recommended a couple of places to me. I think there are several beautiful places in this city and now I get to discover another city in England.
Now I’d like to present you to my friend, the one that has welcomed me here. He does everything with me, he’s part of my security team, he takes me to get to know the training ground, he shows me the city, I present to you; David de Gea.
De Gea walks in and sits next to Mata
Mata: Tell them about all the messages you have been sending me!
De Gea: Yeah, I’m sure you had to get a phone and everything was a bit crazy. But it’s good that you are here and we have gotten you here.
He’s a great player that will help the team a lot and knowing him as a person, he will also help in the dressing room and help the whole team grow.
Mata: We are going to be neighbours too, so that’s good!
De Gea: Yeah, I brought him to the nice part of the city
(both laugh again)
Mata: He’s a realtor too!
(Journalist asks if there are any other Spanish players living nearby)
Mata and De Gea both mention that they think Navas and Negredo live close.
De Gea: I think he has come in and played very well. I’m very happy that he is here and I hope he keeps growing as a player and that he continues to improve the club.
Mata: OK, that’s it.. I will pay you that dinner that I promised you!
Transcribed and translated by @sardinetrawler & @CheGiaevara
United Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Frost’s opening stanza of ‘The Road Not Taken’ refers to a sensation that can be clearly attributed to the rumblings of discontent often reverberating around Old Trafford. Even Manchester United fans with the most pessimistic outlook on things would not have foreseen the turgid displays and disheartening league position that has unravelled hitherto. The man presiding on the managerial helm spoke of his surprise of the current occurrence, after 14 of his players once again managed to fail to attain 3 points with the most apologetically disgraceful performance of all season, against Fulham. “His Waterloo moment”, Miguel Delaney of ESPN claimed. Every facet of failure exemplified to the nth degree – the incessant crossing, failure to vary the play and lapses of concentration that led to the men in red trudging down the tunnel with their head hung in shame, after the referee signalled the end of the game with his blast of the whistle.
CHELSEA INTERVIEW: “United are paying the price for overlooking Mourinho”
Ahead of United’s game on Sunday against Chelsea, we spoke to Ramon from “Mowing Meadows” about their season so far, José Mourinho, Manchester United’s team and the 90 minutes ahead.
Here we are, January 2014 and Chelsea are sitting comfortably in 3rd, 2 points off top. Did you expect this?
Realistically, probably not. I’m always hopeful at the start of the season so I hoped to be in a position like this (if not 3 points better off) but to be so close to the leaders in the absence of anything resembling a striker is fairly impressive. We’ve played a lot of tough games away from home during the first half of the season, so to have the reverse fixtures against the top teams predominantly at home is a good sign. This is a squad blessed in certain positions but is worryingly thin or lacking in quality in others, namely centre mids and full backs respectively, the fact we’ve managed to paper over these cracks so far is really a testament to the brilliance of individual talent and managerial quality.
Mourinho’s return to Chelsea and the Premier League was always going to be an interesting one. How important has it been and how do you think it’s affected the club?
Mourinho’s return has influenced everything that has happened so far this season, I think his arrival has been the most important factor when you consider where we are in the league. It hasn’t all been great, if you consider the aesthetics of our football compared to when Di Matteo was in charge this clearly is a team with less creative freedom but that isn’t necessarily bad if you’re successful. The ‘ostracising’ of Juan Mata whilst unpopular and virtually a crime, has not been without reason or result. In comparison to last season when we exploded out of the blocks and looked like we might be the team to waltz our way to the title before a November-December collapse, this season has been methodical in how we have accumulated points. There are many characteristics that get thrown around as to what a ‘Mourinho’ team is, but this relentless determination and drive that people often compare to a machine is definitely a feature and probably why there has been no drop off in pace in pursuit of the title.
I know that you have a small crush on Oscar, but who do you see as the main man in this current Chelsea team?
Small crush? I love the kid. It’s tough deciding who is the main man between Oscar and Hazard the pendulum always seems to shift on a game to game basis. Hazard is by far the more eye-catching and probably earns him more plaudits but Oscar is the key to how this team is set up. There have often been times when, without his presence the shape of the team almost disintegrates at times. His understanding of the game is immense for someone so young and is perhaps the biggest difference between him and all the other attacking talent the club have acquired over the past few seasons, whilst there is evident room for improvement, his decision making is near faultless. Then there’s the fact that while being slight of build, not small because you can’t really be considered small when you’re on the borderline of being 6ft tall, he is a terrier when it comes down to pressing the opposition and recovering the ball. A player that every fan would love to have playing for their team.
Your need for a striker is becoming more and more apparent, with a lot of your goals coming from midfield. Can you see someone coming in in January and if so, who?
Please God, please let someone come in January. As always the problem with January signings is their eligibility for the Champions League, so I doubt the club will splash money on someone who can’t help in that department. The obvious choice is that poor Colombian fella who got made to play for Monaco for all that money and now looks like he doesn’t want to be there. Last week I would’ve been begging the club to sign Giuseppe Rossi but his knee is dodgier than your midfield, I apologise for that. Quite frankly there aren’t many long term prospects, so here’s to another transfer window spent praying that Zlatan graces us with his presence.
It appears that, once again, Chelsea have managed to sign a player that Manchester United were interested in. What do you make of the (soon to be made official) signing of Matic?
I think in this case we can claim to be the team first interested in signing him, given the fact we sold him to Benfica for the equivalent of £3m as part of the Luiz part exchange (Yes, that deal was worth it). To be quite honest, I don’t know much about him apart from the games Benfica played against Chelsea in the Champions League and I thought Javi Garcia was the better of the two on those occasions… Please God, please be better than Javi Garcia.
Did you see Manchester United struggling this much when Sir Alex Ferguson left, and were you surprised that the club didn’t try and appoint Mourinho as his successor?
No I didn’t actually. I even offered bets to many Arsenal fans that are friends of mine that United wouldn’t slip out the top four, thankfully for me, no one took up my offer. It is strange to think one man could have had so much impact, I know there’s been problems with an ageing squad and injuries but I don’t think anyone in their right mind would say United would be in the same position with Ferguson in charge. My cousin in America compared it to Phil Jackson leaving the LA Lakers who have since been pretty unsuccessful after dominating the NBA for a decade, I imagine most fear it’s going to be the same way in this case.
As for whether I’m surprised Mourinho wasn’t targeted, yes and no. He’s the best manager in the world in my opinion and it would seem outrageous that a club of United’s size not only wouldn’t want Mourinho but seemingly didn’t target any elite manager in world football but settled for David Moyes. I suppose, he too is ‘Tartan born and bred’. To be honest it is the price you have to pay when the board overlooked a manager like Mourinho for sustainability reasons which I thought they would do but quite frankly the most important thing for United Post-Ferguson was to not have a significant drop off with the team needing to be rebuilt soon. Perhaps the closest thing to a guarantee of that would’ve been Mourinho. Board will have to chalk it up as a mistake and move on with Moyes who I think they are going to have to commit to, for at least another season. A moral victory, right?
With Manchester United currently sitting 8th in the Premier League, do you see this game as less important than in previous years?
No, of course not. Any game is important by virtue that there are only 38 in a season, yes there may not be the same competition for position between the two clubs this year but it is going to be a difficult three points to get nonetheless. Chelsea need the points to keep up track with City and Arsenal, whilst United need the points to try and claw into the top four. I can’t see you repeating our, should we say ‘fortunate’ run to the Champions League trophy.
Do you see the battle for midfield as the key to Sunday’s game?
Midfield battle. Wait, do either of us have a midfield? In all seriousness, I can’t really see it being won there, it can definitely be lost if either sides midfield forget their defensive duties but both sides lack the dynamism in midfield that once dominated these games. I think United have got their hands full with Eden Hazard in the form he is in, I’m guessing Willian and Oscar will make up the trio and they haven’t been playing too badly in recent times either. It’s a shame Mata probably won’t feature seeing as he’s caused your lot plenty of problems in recent seasons
It seems that Wayne Rooney could be fit for the trip to Stamford Bridge. Other than him, who do you see as the main threat in this Manchester United side?
I saw this question asked to a Swansea fan in the build up of your game against them and the list consisted of Welbeck and Januzaj. Your strikers all have great records against us but given Van Persie’s injury and Hernandez’ form of late it is hard to find a threat comparable to Rooney. Januzaj I think is your best chance, he’s been a real star this season. Our full backs, Azpilicueta aside have struggled this season so attacking down the flanks will always reap some reward, especially if you can drag Cahill and Terry away from the middle. Of course, I have to give some credit to the form ‘dat guy’ is in (Congratulations on your reply from him by the way) but in comparison to the threat of what has arrived at the Bridge in years gone by when United have visited, I’m fairly optimistic. I’m more worried about De Gea having a cracking game.
Prediction and line-up?
Prediction – It all depends on Mourinho’s mentality, I’m hoping he takes the game to you, so I will go with 3-1.
Line up – Cech; Azpilicueta, Terry, Cahill, Ivanovic; Ramires, Lampard; Willian, Oscar, Hazard; Eto’o (I could see Luiz starting instead of either Lampard or Willian though)
While I’m at I may as well have a stab at the United line up although I’m not sure if my choices are all fit:
De Gea; Rafael, Vidic, Evans, Evra; Fletcher, Carrick, Jones; Welbeck, Januzaj, Rooney.
#78: We Want Our United Back!
Returning after a short break over the Xmas holidays, we take a look back at the 3 consecutive defeats in the first 3 games of 2014, before discussing the “crisis” Manchester United seem to be in at the moment. Be sure to listen to this week’s podcast now!
SWANSEA INTERVIEW: “It’s hard to see where the quality at Manchester United is”
Ahead of United’s game on Saturday against Swansea, we talked to Scott from “The Swansea Way” about their season so far, Michael Laudrup, Manchester United’s form and the 90 minutes ahead.
Let’s just get this question over with at the start. How good was it to see Wilfried Bony score that header on Sunday night?
Pretty damn good! Bony had been getting a lot of stick from a proportion of the fan base until tthe Man City game, but hopefully 3 in 2 against the Manchester clubs will silence any remaining critics. I’ve defended him from day one, and it was obvious he needed a run in the team to get up to speed.
What have you made of your season so far? How does it compare to last season?
It’s been strange. On the one hand no could argue our form’s been great since winning the League Cup last February, but on the other hand we’ve maintained a solid (ish) league position, progressed in Europe and just dumped United out of the cup. It shows how far we’ve come that I’m even saying that, and fingers crossed our league form will improve once the fixture list calms down a bit.
Who would classify as your stand out player since the start of the season?
That’s a good question. Lots of players have suffered from dips in form so far this season, but it would have to be one of Ashley Williams, Leon Britton or Jose Canas, and I’ll go for the latter as he’s really coming into his own. We signed him from Betis on a free, and it’s looking like an outstanding bit of business. He’s got great control, an eye for a pass and some engine on him – expect to see other clubs sniffing around if he maintains his current level of performance.
How has playing in Europe affected your season? What do you make of the draw for the knockout rounds?
As soon as I saw Napoli were in the draw I had a feeling we’d end up getting them. If we want to go far in the competition we’ll have to beat the big boys at some point, and it’s a great trip for the fans – even if it’s a bit if a scary one given the Napoli fans’ reputation.
As for how it’s affected our league form, I think it’s been more a case of not being able to regularly start the same eleven players as opposed to any kind of fatigue issue – although we have now played something stupid like 35 or 40 games already this season. For a club like ours, it’s a balancing act maintaining a squad big enough to compete whilst also making sure you don’t over commit financially.
Laudrup is seen by many as a fantastically talented manager. Do you expect him to stay for many years to come?
In a word; no. It seems fairly certain he’ll be off to bigger pastures in the summer and no Swansea fan would begrudge him that. I’ve heard he’s actually helping our chairman locate and recruit his successor, so I’m not worried about a lengthy transition period. We’ve a great track record of improving despite changing managers, and I fully expect that to continue.
Moving on to Manchester United. What were your first thoughts when David Moyes was appointed as the man to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson?
That it was a poison chalice. It was always going to be so hard to replace Fergie, and I’m wondering how sensible it was giving him such a lengthy contract. Whether he’ll get the time he needs to turn things around remains to be seen, and another Swansea win this weekend would extra pressure to an already tense situation.
Did you expect the Premier League champions to struggle so much this year?
Not as such, but I do think they’ve missed key players for a while – notably the absence of any world class central midfielders. Fellaini is useless unless he’s got a foil alongside him, but you look elsewhere in the squad and it’s hard to see (strikers not included here) where the quality is. That being said, any team with Rooney and Van Persie in it should be doing better than United currently are.
Looking at the game on Saturday, do you expect Swansea to approach the game as they did last Sunday?
Yep! The level of intensity was so much better against United in the FA Cup and given the confidence the squad will have drawn from that we should be able to put in another good showing. With the relegation zone creeping nearer and nearer over the last few weeks a win would go down very well indeed.
On the pitch, who do you see as the weak link in Manchester United’s team?
As mentioned, I think central midfield is the problem. I don’t think you can say there’s a weak link in particular, but it’s something they need to address and soon.
Predicted line up & score
Tremmel, Rangel, Williams, Chico, Davies, Canas, De Guzman, Shelvey, Pozuelo, Routledge, Bony.
2-0 Swansea. Why not?
“Your job is to stand by your new manager”
It’s funny. As I stood in the stands at Old Trafford after that game against Swansea, cheering the words of our departing manager, I also heard a roar of appreciation synonym to “We will, Sir Alex, we promise”.
7 months later, here we are: 7th in the league & knocked out of in the 3rd round of the FA Cup. No one said it would be easy, but no one said it would be this hard. Those words are probably going round and round in David Moyes’ head right now.
As Manchester United collapsed to a, let’s be perfectly honest, abject Swansea performance, David Moyes sat in the dugout, head in hands, looking bereft of confidence. Who can blame him? 4 losses in the last 6 home games. Such a run is bound to strip any manager from their self-belief.
At the tender age of 23, all I’ve known as a Manchester United fan is success. As a Manchester United fan, all I want is success. Sadly, this isn’t happening at the moment. Why? No one really knows, but the “blame game” has well and truly started. Some will point to the tactics board and tell us that Moyes’ choices are at fault. Some will blame the players and their lack of motivation on the pitch. Some will take a look and curse at the injury table. Some will simply point at Moyes and blame absolutely everything on him. Who is right? I don’t have the answer, but if you want an answer from me, I think it’s a little bit of everything.
Yes, United lack Sir Alex Ferguson, who seemed to have been given a God given gift in motivating good players and making them feel like they were capable of everything. Yes, the players sometimes look half-arsed, showing little to no movement off the ball. Yes, Manchester United have had terrible luck with injuries, and yes, Moyes looking distraught on the sidelines doesn’t help.
The fact that Moyes was offered a 6 year contract in the summer suggests that no matter what happens this season, Moyes will still be there in August 2014 when next season starts. There have been some positives this season. The introduction of Januzaj has given many something to smile about, although this growing reliance on him to make something happen in games has become somewhat worrying. A half-decent cup run in the League Cup and hopeful performances (+ a qualification from the group stage & a kind draw in the 1st knockout round) in the Champions League show that all is not lost.
Manchester United appointed Moyes in hope of long-term success. Long-term success comes with time, but time is something many managers aren’t given enough of. People calling for Moyes to be sacked lack patience, but can they really be blamed? As I’ve stated previously, success is something we’ve all become accustomed to as Manchester United fans. Football is a game of opinions and that is theirs.
It’s refreshing to see that a lot of fans are accepting that this season is one of transition. Some managers like Rudi Garcia at AS Roma have managed to find the perfect solution with the players handed to them. Moyes seems to be needing a bit more time, and it seems he will be given it.
As for transfers, the summer was rather frustrating. I think Moyes was wrong to make certain bids public and the signing of Fellaini, despite being one we all expected, did seem to have been made in panic after many other deals failed to (some rather embarrassingly) materialise. The call to sign players in January is an expected one, but as we have said many times on the podcast on this very site, it’s bad luck that these signings need to be made in a World Cup year. Players will feel that moving clubs could affect their chances of appearing for their respective national teams in Brazil. Had this all happened in 2015, maybe targets would be more willing to move. Performances of their current clubs also come into account. It’s hard to believe that Koke, currently a regular starter in a team posing a serious challenge for La Liga, would want to move to a club in 7th position. Certain targets, like Coentrao, do need a move to play first team football and appear more realistic, but at the end of the day, the responsibility of signing players falls to Edward Woodward and David Moyes. Talking about it on here or on Twitter won’t make them move any faster nor will it influence their decisions.
All we can do as supporters is exactly what is stated in the label given to followers of a certain team: support. This isn’t a piece to call out those that want Moyes out. That is their opinion and I feel obliged to respect it. This isn’t even a piece. It’s just a bunch of thoughts typed on a Word document.
Moyes will be given time, whether fans like it or not. Sir Alex Ferguson’s statement back in May made that extremely clear. The roar I heard when those now famous words were uttered suggested that 70 odd thousand people promised him that they would do exactly that: stand by their new manager.
The problem with that is that it needs to be done for better or for worse, not just for better.
#77 Xmas Transfer Special
In a very special and extended edition of the Can They Score podcast, we, very briefly, take a look back at the more pleasing performances against Shakhtar and Aston Villa, before spending over an hour and a half analysing the various transfer targets Manchester United have been linked with prior to the January window. Be sure to listen in to this week’s podcast now!
Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year from the Can They Score team.
If you’re looking for someone specific, here is the order & the starting times for each player:
Defenders: Alex Sandro (12.30), Luke Shaw (14.30), Eliaquim Mangala (17.30), Eder Alvarez Balanta (18.30) & Kurt Zouma (20.50)
Midfielders: Gullit Peña (27.30), William Carvalho (32.40), Nemanja Matic (36.00), Fernando (39.15), Ilkay Gündogan (42.00), Fredy Guarín (47.00), Koke (48.45), Ander Herrera (52.20), Ivan Rakitic (55.00), Mateo Kovacic (58.30), Cabella (1.02.15), Wesley Sneijder (1.04.15), Ever Banega (1.07.15), Blaise Matuidi (1.11.15), Kevin Strootman & Miralem Pjanic (1.14.20), Florian Thauvin (1.15.20) & Ross Barkley (1.18.10)
Forwards: Everton Ribeiro (1.27.00) & Antoine Griezmann (1.31.15)