David Moyes has admitted that Manchester United’s slow start this season has left him disappointed, despite the club’s tradition for being notoriously slow off the blocks.
United conceded a late equaliser on Saturday as Southampton grabbed a deserved 1-1 draw at Old Trafford, which means that David Moyes has now won only once in four league games on home turf, with many suggesting that the Reds have lost their fear factor and that teams are no longer scared to travel to Old Trafford.
There were plenty of reasons to be optimistic about today. United, for a start, were back after a two-week absence forced upon us by the international break and they were back having just renewed Adnan Januzaj’s contract, as the talented teenager put pen to paper on a five-year deal just when most Reds had begun to expect a repeat of the fiasco that surrounded Paul Pogba’s departure.
If those weren’t enough reasons to be cheerful, David Moyes opted for an attacking-minded starting XI, with Ashley Young and Anderson nowhere near the first team squad, as Nani and Januzaj occupied the two flanks, with Michael Carrick and Marouane Fellaini deployed in the middle of the park.
Manchester United host Southampton today hoping to continue where they left off before the international break, when Adnan Januzaj’s brace rescued three points for David Moyes’ men away at Sunderland.
Southampton, however, are a much harder task than many would have imagined when the fixtures list were released last summer, as the Saints arrive at Old Trafford sitting in fourth place of the table, four points ahead of United and, crucially, boasting the league’s best defensive record, having conceded twice in seven games – Europe’s second best defensive record after Roma’s.
Manchester United are a step closer to tie Adnan Januzaj to a long-term contract, after the 18-year-old has hinted he sees his future at Manchester United.
Januzaj grabbed the headlines two weeks, scoring twice on his first start for the club as United came from behind to beat Sundeland 2-1 at the Stadium of Light, while the teenager was immediately linked with a move away from Old Trafford, as Europe’s top clubs began to showed their interest.
David Moyes hailed Wayne Rooney as the main man for Manchester United and England during today’s press conference, during which he emphasised the impact the United striker has had for club and country.
Speaking to the press at Carrington, Moyes claimed that Rooney’s remarkable turnaround in form and performances is due to a new-found maturity, and both United and England have been reaping the benefits of a more settled, happier, Rooney.
Ed Woodward endured a torrid time this summer, his lack of experience in the transfer window transforming him into a pantomime villain for United fans, who criticised Woodward’s choice to prioritise commercial deals over signing players.
However, the much maligned club’s chief executive could regain some respect among the supporters after he agreed to investigate the viability of reintroducing standing areas at Old Trafford, as United looked set to back the Football Supporters Federation’s campaign for safe standing inside football grounds across Britain.
Shinji Kagawa has claimed his lack of games at Manchester United is influencing his performance with his national side, and the Japanese playmaker has vowed to get more playing time under his belt at United to be able to have a bigger impact on his national team’s fortunes at the World Cup.
Japan lost to Serbia and Belarus during the international break and although they were already qualified for this summer’s showdown in Brazil, the former Dortmund playmaker has claimed that a lack of regular football at club level could affect his performances with the national side.
The January transfer window might still be two and half months away, but the rumour mill is in full swing and Manchester United seem to have yet again being caught in the thick of it.
Today’s backpages claim that Galatasaray are set offer £13m for Nani in January, as Roberto Mancini, who replaced Fatih Terim at the helm of the Istanbul club less than a month ago, begins to seek a replacement for Wesley Sneijder, who could be reunited with Jose Mourinho at Chelsea.