Rarely has a Manchester United squad entered January in more urgent need of an injection of quality than David Moyes’ 2013/14 vintage. The Old Trafford side have spluttered through the first half of the season, possessing a squad made up of a makeshift central midfield, uninspired set of wingers and shaky group of fullbacks.
Yet fans desperately calling for substantial transfer activity this month should be wary: the January window, a time of inflated prices, shoddy scouting and expensive panic buys, is a notoriously difficult moment to do business.
With the January transfer window barely a week old, the rumour mill is already in full swing and considering the desperate times facing David Moyes and Manchester United, it was merely a matter of time before the Reds found themselves tangled into different transfer rumours.
The latest to emerge wants Manchester United linked with Roma midfielder Miralem Pjanic.
Having watched any realistic chance of overseeing a defence of his new charges’ Premier League crown evaporate following New Year’s Day’s home defeat to Tottenham Hotspur, David Moyes must ensure his team achieve the more modest objective of attaining a place in the top four.
The Scotsman quickly needs to navigate United into finding the consistency of performance and results he has often talked of in recent weeks, to stand any chance of successfully guiding them (and himself) into next season’s Champions League.
This team, given time to develop, in my opinion, equips him with his best chance of achieving that goal if the club (be it Moyes’ fault or otherwise) fail to strengthen the squad during this month’s transfer window.
Having started 2014 in terrible fashion with consecutive home defeats against Spurs and Swansea, United travel to Sunderland tonight hoping to take another step towards the Capital One Cup final, at the moment the Reds’ most realistic chance of silverware in this disgraced season.
Sunday’s showing in the FA Cup was nothing short of embarrassing – something we’ve become somewhat accustomed to in the first six months of the campaign – and United must improve, if they’re to secure a positive result against a side that might be bottom of the table, but will undoubtedly be fired up for the occasion.
After an awful start to the season, Man United added more misery to their 2013/14 campaign this week with two mores losses, this time to Spurs and Swansea City in the Premier League and FA Cup respectively – BOTH at Old Trafford.
This is the first of my three part series on who David Moyes needs to sign if his Manchester United side want to even stand a chance in reaching the top four this season.
The first working Monday of the year is a bad enough day without having its misery compounded by external factors. Unfortunately, if you happen to be a Red, today was made even worse by yesterday’s spineless, embarrassing, yet utterly predictable defeat against Swansea.
The numbers alone are ominous – a fourth defeat in the last six games at Old Trafford, another competition that disappears with the season barely five months old and a first third round elimination since 2010, when Jermaine Beckford gave Leeds fans their only reason to cheer in about a decade.
Having seen his side capitulate to yet another home defeat and plunge even further into a crisis, David Moyes has partiaylly backtracked on his comments and admitted that Manchester United simply aren’t good enough and need to bring reinforcements in as soon as possible.
The United manager, who as little as two days ago had denied United would buy in the January transfer window, however admitted that while the need for quality players is there for all to see, it might be extremely complicated to sign players this month.
They say that when it rains, it pours. As far as Manchester United are concerned, this season is shaping up to be a downpour of biblical proportion, rather than some traditionally insistent Mancunian rain.
Transition, decline, widespread ineptitude. Call it which way you want, but whatever it is it’s not going to go away anytime soon. Not now, not tomorrow, not until the end of the season. Not, in fact, for a while.