Dec 04

Moyes’ past could haunt United

Tag: Match Preview @ 8:45 am

everton2013Never has a Manchester United vs Everton match carried the significance it will have on Wednesday night – the 1985 and 1995 FA Cup finals being notable exceptions – as David Moyes goes into his first meeting against his former club with United unbeaten in 12 games in all competitions, but nine points adrift of league leaders Arsenal.

It’s only just over six months ago that Moyes left Everton after a decade at Goodison Park to replace Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford, with Roberto Martinez picking up Moyes’ baton on Merseyside, as both clubs began a new chapter in their history.

However, while the former Wigan manager has got his Everton career off to a flier and his team arrive at Old Trafford on the back of a 4-0 thumping of Stoke, which pushed the Toffees on the verge of a Champions League spot, consecutive draws against Cardiff and Spurs have seen United drop to eight on the table, two points behind the Toffees.

In recent seasons, United have struggled against Everton, with their midfield coming unstuck against the physical challenge posed by Marouane Fellaini who, ironically, since joining United has displayed none of the characteristics that had made him such a formidable opponent in his Everton days.

The Belgian could be involved against his former club given that Phil Jones is suspended after picking up his fifth booking of the season on Sunday, while it’d be interesting to see whether Tom Cleverley will retain his spot in the starting XI after yet another insipid performance or whether Ryan Giggs will be given the nod in midfield.

After arriving on Merseyside, Martinez has quickly developed Everton into a side that places bigger emphasis on passing the ball around than they did under Moyes, as Gareth Barry, Ross Barkley and Steven Pienaar have formed a solid unit in midfield, creating chances and protecting the back four admirably - Everton have allowed fewer shots on target against them away from home than any other team in the top flight this season.

However, for all their midfield improvements, Everton’s biggest threat is to be found up-front where Romelu Lukaku and Kevin Mirallas have been in inspired form this season. The Chelsea loanee – one of the only players to ever score a Premier League hat-trick against Manchester United – is likely to provide a tough test for the United back four, where Jonny Evans is expected to retain his starting spot alongside either Nemanja Vidic or Rio Ferdinand.

United, however, will go into tonight’s clash buoyed by their recent unbeaten run and by the possible return of Robin Van Persie, who has been described as a possible inclusion by David Moyes yesterday. The Dutchman has scored six times in 10 league starts against Everton, while the Toffees are United favourite target in the Premier League, as the Reds have scored 84 times against them, more than any team against any single opponent in Premier League history.

The visitors have lost 16 and drawn four of their last 20 visits at Old Trafford but if David Moyes wants to keep that record going and inflict misery on his former club, United must improve on the showings at Cardiff and Spurs and be bolder going forward and more solid defensively.

Anything less than three points and any hopes of retaining the title will be all but gone.


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Tags: Match Preview

30 Responses to “Moyes’ past could haunt United”

  • Indeed this is a tremendously intriguing match made more so by the fact that Everton have not won at OT for some 20 years. Moyes of course was manager for over half that period and it would be a tremendous filip for Martinez if he were to put one over his predecessor. Equally, it would be a boost for Moyes to silence what might be a fairly vociferous away section. Looking forward to it!

  • The_Philosopher

    I’m looking forward to it.

    It’s getting like lucky packet with David Moyes.

    You never know what you’re gonna get. . .

    • @The_Philosopher: It will be a boost if RVP is fit but then again we’ll have the Kagawa conundrum cropping up once more. I thought Welbeck did pretty well against Spurs after his lay off so he might just retain his place. I doubt it very much if Moyes will start Januzaj (unfortunately) but I sincerely hope he’ll be on the bench, otherwise that’s three successive games where he hasn’t featured at all(not good). With Jones out , it will almost certainly be Fellaini and Cleverley in midfield which could be our weak spot. Back four should be ok – hopefully Rafa can take up again at RB.

  • This is a must-win.

    If we do not defeat Everton, it is another example of just how mediocre our team’s performances and expectations are. Not winning against another team above/near us (Chelsea, City, Liverpool, Tottenham, Southampton) in the table will be criminal.

    I expect a ruthless win, because we are Man United!!

    • @Opti: “Ruthless win”

      I hope you’re right and we not only win this comfortably but also the other tough game against Newcastle at the weekend. It’s a big 6 points that will propel us right back into the leading pack. If the unthinkable happens, and we lose or draw both we will start losing ground with the top 6, and that could be disastrous for Utd’s season.

  • Psychologically, this is a must win for Moyes. Martinez has taken over at Everton and has improved the team and is talking publicly about a CL spot for next season, something that at present looks within reach for them. Moyes, on the other hand, whilst not struggling isn’t necessarily setting the PL alight, and as defending champions the title is all but gone and a CL spot is far from guaranteed. Saying that, nothing can be ruled out in football and over the next 6 months anything could happen. But, I think a win is far more important for Moyes than Martinez. If Utd lose, the headlines and fan reaction will be obvious and the pressure on Moyes will be cranked up another couple of notches.

    • @red astair: Agreed this is an absolute must win game for us and especially Moyes.
      We now play like Everton and Everton play like us!
      We need to have a exceptional December if we are to contest the title this season. Hope RvP is fit, but it will also be interesting to see if he starts, which is unlikely. Then will he give Kagawa another run behind Rooney. He seems unconvinced on the Japanese and he didn’t do himself any favours this weekend, but he deserves another shot. We are Jekyll and Hyde at the moment, one game good, one bad. If we lose tonight the press will have a field day….

      • @Stephen: The outcome of this game is anyone’s guess. I expect Rooney to start but I have my doubts that kagawa will start. Moyes has to get the team balance and tactics spot on, something that has been hit and miss so far this season, definitely Jekyll and Hyde. I just hope tonight won’t be a horror story.

  • Lineup is OK, except for starting Giggs and Welbeck. Giggs plays well once per month at best… and he already used up his monthly allowance last week against Leverkusen.

    Welbeck is average and inferior to Chicharito in pretty much every way, except perhaps creativity. Not sure I see his selection.

  • so then this everton goal seals our faith… we are out europe as well next season… i said it before on this very site that by the looks of things it seems like everton got the better deal then us when it come to manager change.. it seems that today confirms that fact… :-x

  • A few weeks ago we were saying David Moyes go back to Everton, now they won’t even have him.

  • This is a very bad loss and other loss to a team above us in the table, which does not bode well for Top 4 finish. I still think we will end up in Top 4, but have no hope for a title-winning run.

    Last three games we winnable and we picked up 2 points. That is criminal. Moyes is fighting in uphill battle and has to answer for the team’s poor form. Of course, he will no be fired, but I expect significant improvement over the next two-three months…

  • how did roony see yellow and with his 5th now a suspension… and nothing for the visitors especially their goal scorer who continually pulled your boys down in professional fouls. ahhh what a season.

    at least we had some nice attacks. and were unlucky not to score at bst at worst… robbed. :evil:

    Dear FA,

    Please find some help for the officials in the prem.

  • Aughh….there you go….Moyes in all his limited glory….boy, has he choked!

    Utd losing to Everton at home? IS THIS HOW ITS GOING TO BE MOYES?

  • Classic.
    What a truly Everton like performance. I hope Moyes is pleased with himself, he has now successfully transplanted all that was shit about Everton into United.
    No skill. No style. No bravery. No ability.
    You can be as fit as you like but if you can’t use the ball, and we can’t, then you’ll never be any more than just another mid table team.
    Shit manager. Totally shit manager. Totally out of his depth.

  • Im no fan of moyes, but at the end of the day, this group of players need a reality check . They’re just not as good as they seem to think they are.Bad night all round.

    • @THE RED BARON: They are the Premier League champions. Moyes isn’t.
      And it shows. Moyes has no clue how to use these players becasue they’re too good for him.
      Moyes is the problem, not the players.

      • tonymontanna4united

        @BigRed: Arguably it’s a bit of both.
        I mean in all honesty, we talk about how we want to close the gap between ourselves and the likes of Bayern and Barcelona.
        But would many of the players who started for us tonight, have even got into the Everton 11?
        De Gea, Rafael, Vidic and Rooney aside I’m not so sure.
        At the very least I don’t think Valencia, Giggs, Fellaini and Welbeck would get anywhere near their side, and that is really concerning.

      • @BigRed: My point is there’s to many players in the comfort zone, and that’s a fact. Our squad is so weak in general, through years of neglect and complacency, it’s stands out a mile . There’s no genuine competition for places.This problem has got to be placed well and truly on fergusons shoulders.Granted, moyes hasn’t covered himself in glory so far, but this group of players nead to start taking responsibility for the way they perform.Whether they buy into moyes philosophy or not, they need to remember they play for mufc, not David moyes fc.

        • @THE RED BARON: I see what you’re saying. You’re probably right about the comfort zone comment. Im sure one or two could raise their game.
          Also agree about our MF problems being a problem created by Fergie. Definitely.
          Saying they need to remember who they play for is true to a point. But if the football idea that Moyes is trying to sell is not the kind of football these players were brought for, that have been used to playing (for the most part) a certain way. I don’t think their is any confidence within the squad, because they’re not comfortable doing what their being asked to do. Admittedly, a fair amount assumption in there on my part, but it’s considered assumption :-) But clearly his training methods are not to everybodys taste.
          Maybe it’s a bit of both.

  • United look more and more mediocre by the day and hurtling towards a Liverpool like destruction at breathtaking speed.We are now a proper mid table outfit unable to take a result from any of our peers…a very poor spurs, Southampton,Chelsea, Liverpool and now Everton.No one expected Moyes to fill SAF shoes but few of us thought he could do this worse.Watching united everyday you always wonder the tactics.Giggs/fellaini ? Welbeck?

  • I thought we had many opportunities to score throughout the game. We actually had more clear cut opportunities and we were too careless to capitalise. Rooney,Kagawa,Welbeck,Giggs,all had serious opportunities to score and they wasted the opportunities. I don’t want to use this game as an example of just how incompetent Moyes is,because as much as we didn’t set the world on fire,this was one of our better games. Fellaini played well and I think he stood out a bit as one of the better players on show. His passing was accurate and productive. His marking and positioning were also top drawer. He ought to start the next game.

    However,there are still no excuses for what has been happening here. The movement is enthusiastic but dumb and disorganised. The dependence on high balls is ridiculous. The finishing was abysmal so was the general game

    • @Jay Wire: I admire your positivity. But i really struggled to see tonight as a decent performance.
      I thought Fellaini was pretty poor. Very static, lumbering, easily disposessed and very unabmitious with his passing.
      I hope he can improve but at the moment i’m not seeing much of a player.
      Our attacks were very vague and disorganised. More in hope than expectation. I see almost no conviction in anything we do. Too many high balls hit aimlessly in the general direction of team mates.
      It’s very ugly to watch, no rythm or consistently dangerous posession.
      I’m finding us very frustrating at the moment. It was a backwards step tonight in comparisson with the Spurs game. That wasn’t great but i thought tonight was worse. Not just the result.
      Hope im just being overly critical Jay, but im seeing a worrying lack of progress.
      Fingers crossed eh.

  • tonymontanna4united

    That result tonight says alot about Moyes for me.
    Everton with Moyes in charge away against top 4 opposition:
    Played 47. Won 0.
    Martinez within a few months of being in charge gets a win away at OT.

    Then there’s the team selection.
    Quite why Welbeck and Valencia were picked once again only he knows.
    Welbeck, offers shit on a stick right now, and Valencia the fan favourite who can seemingly do no wrong in most fans eyes, is supposedly in the team because he’s consistent.
    Consistent at what I ask? Smashing the ball at the full back time and time again whilst offering fuck all personified from an offensive viewpoint?

    But what’s worse than that was that with over 35 minutes left to play, Moyes for once tried to actually change things, and decides to go positive, introduces Nani and Januzaj into the game, and yet it’s the same end result.
    Knock it out wide to Evra, put a cross in (atleast they were actually getting crosses in unlike tony v), watch as they get headed away, get the ball again and do the same thing over and over, rinse and repeat :roll:
    It’s fucking archaic tactics you’d expect to see from the 80s and it is really really hurting us. The sooner we abandon traditional wing play the better (like that’s gonna happen).

    I don’t know, I just honestly get the feeling that it wouldn’t even matter if we went out this January and brought in Gundogan, Reus, Shaw and Schweinsteiger- we’d still be playing just as negatively, struggling to create anything and dropping points.
    You look at Everton and the way they look like they’ve actually pushed on without Moyes. Everton a top 6 club, and I’d bet the majority of their fans wouldn’t take him back if he was offered a route back there in exchange for Martinez.
    In what way then does that make him good enough for us I ask myself?

    • The_Philosopher

      @tonymontanna4united: I would rather abandon David Moyes than abandon wing play.

      And you’re right, buying the best players in the world won’t change anything because it would be David Moyes in charge of them.

      Moyes needs to go.

      And Moyes needs to go yesterday.

  • We are 9th in the table, 12 points off the leaders 6 wins in 14 games. This is appalling. If we were City or Chelsea Moyes would be sacked, rightly or wrongly.
    So where do we go from here? Do the Glazers allow him to plunder millions in the January window? Who realistically are we going to sign? None of the Dortmund players will want to leave or be allowed to be sold. Why would they want to come? Moyes hardly has the pulling power. Sacking him is unlikely simply because of the ludicrous contract he is on and the romantic view of Mark Robins and all that, the faint hope he will turn things around. The issue is the players look knackered already, Moyes over trains them, this is obvious. No work has been done with regards to tactics, we are essentially a long ball side and all he has done is to get them fit. The issue is we are not Everton, we are in the Champions league , this equals more games. Does Fergie come back to help, well essentially he got into this mess. The main issue is he is stubborn, he doesn’t learn. We are going backwards at an alarming rate. He is a very poor mans Fergie, the players are not responding to him. Why would they, Bebe has more trophies in the cabinet than him. Players have to look up to and admire the man in control. Moyes is simply out of his depth. There seems to be no real candidates out there currently available. Klopp has just signed a new contract, he is out. Mourinho is a no, no. Conte, is Juve through and through. Garcia at Roma is a possibility. Ole would be the fans choice, but is it too early? Looks like we are stuck with him until at least the Summer, this could be fatal as at the moment Champions League football looks way off. Let’s be honest we haven’t been in the top 4 all season! Happy Christmas.

    • The_Philosopher

      @Stephen: I would even settle for Michael Laudrup.

      Ole would be my first choice right now.

      If Ole could convince Gary Neville to come be his no.2 with Giggs in the mix as well I would be very pleased with that.

      Moyes has been awful this whole season.

  • I am not convinced with Laudrup mate. If Moyes is to go, I would opt for Hiddink or Jupp Heynckes until the end of the season, then take stock. I can’t see him being relieved of his position as Fergie I am sure wouldn’t allow it. Moyes is a dinosaur, his ideas are archaic. But I am sure he won’t go until the end od the season, only if we fail to hit the top 4.

  • Andrija Djuranovic

    This is what the owners of United think about future of this club, through the mouth of their representative in chief:

    “‘If you fight hard and just fail, people will still watch you on television, still turn up and buy shirts,” he said.
    ‘There’s still a lot of affinity with the club and interest. The reality is that you can’t always win.
    ‘Take Liverpool. They still sell an incredible number of shirts and have the second biggest shirt deal in the Premier League.
    ‘They have one of the biggest technical partner deals – and they haven’t won the league since 1990.
    ‘And you can put the last bit underlined and in capitals. ”

    Ladies and gentlemen, THIS is the problem. Not Moyes, not Fergie. This. They simply do not care about results, they didn’t care about us sharing the destiny of Liverpool-all they care about are the shirt sales, commercial deals and milking more cash out of the club and into their personal accounts.

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