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The signing that is Moyes’ big chance

75040_10151963634432746_2072552034_nWhen a player joins a new football club, the words that’s mentioned more often is “opportunity”.

Everything, from the new manager, to new team-mates to a new environment and fans is portrayed to offer the new arrival with a wonderful chance to revitalise his career, prove his former manager wrong, develop into a world class player or a bit of both, depending who the footballer in question might be.

Juan Mata’s arrival at Manchester United undoubtedly presents the Spaniard with a great chance to prove that Jose Mourinho should have kept in South West London, not to mention that a successful second half to the season would cement Mata’s place in Spain’s squad for the World Cup.

The £37m signing, however, represents an even bigger opportunity for David Moyes and Manchester United as a whole.

The United manager has divided opinions since his arrival at Old Trafford, with some fans growing frustrated at the lack of results, while others – albeit they could soon count themselves and find that many have defected to the other side – maintain that the former Everton boss deserves his chance to turn United’s fortunes around.

Moyes now has that opportunity and he must seize it with both hands, for the arrival of Juan Mata could prove to be the first stepping stone in Moyes’ process to rebuild United and mould the squad according to the plan that he – as United fans have been hoping for – has in mind.

The Spaniard might not necessarily be what United need at this moment in time, their midfield still worryingly weak and their defence a delicate mixture of players in the winter of the careers and others who are still too raw to fulfil the role as expected of them, but Mata’s arrival could be the sort of lucky break Moyes desperately needed and wanted.

“Could” is the keyword here as far as United are concerned, for the most worrying aspect of United’s dismal season has been the utterly pedestrian football they’ve offered, Adnan Januzaj the only shining light of a campaign throughout which United have mastered the ability to pass the ball to wingers who can’t beat their man on a loop.

Signing Mata has undoubtedly lifted the morale in the dressing room and on the stands, while offering Moyes and the club some much-needed breathing space, as the United manager has finally proved he can attract the sort of world class players, many had thought would be beyond him.

For many, Moyes is the main culprit for United’s dire approach, but Mata’s arrival opens different tactical options for the United manager, who could play the Spaniard alongside Adnan Januzaj and Wayne Rooney in support of Robin Van Persie in a 4-2-3-1 midfield, or further up the pitch in the sort of 4-3-3- formation Jose Mourinho adopted in his first spell at Chelsea.

A player of Mata’s quality and talent could be crucial in helping United on their transition from the archaic football they’ve shown this season onto the more exciting brand of football that it’s embodied in club ethos and demanded by the fans, but David Moyes must be bold enough to seize the chance with both hands.




  1. Karl

    28 January 2014 at 18:51

    There is yet another group of supporters that are more interested in entertaining football more than results at this stage. If Mata’s arrival signals an improvement in the quality of entertainment on display, then I am all for it and “giving the manager a chance”.
    The only problem is that those tactical options mentioned in the article were always there (even before the worldclass Mata). For some strange reason the manager just never chose to use it. In that regard, lets hope that £40m will force him to.

  2. gator

    28 January 2014 at 19:04

    rafiel evra smalling evans
    valincia jones giggs young

  3. gator

    28 January 2014 at 19:05


  4. gator

    28 January 2014 at 19:08

    maybe we are saving roony and januzaj for the weekend? 🙁

    i guess it was too much to ask to see

    mata roony adnan


  5. gator

    28 January 2014 at 20:35

    what do you guys think for the subs? vlaincia is quiet… could bring adnan/kagowa on or bring roony on and move mata out wide…

  6. gator

    28 January 2014 at 20:36

    looks like we might not get past pool before the end of the season but beating arsenal for 4th still looks likely 😳

  7. Jay Wire

    28 January 2014 at 20:42

    I dunno why Moyes won’t learn. All our very rare good play is coming when we pass pass and pass. Simple. Yet all he wants is corner flag football. It’s sad. Mata has been reduced to long balls and more long balls because there is very little middle of the park movement. We have players that can play close quarters football of passing short and quick. Rafael,Evra,Mata,RvP,Giggs. So why is everything going through Young and Evra. Moyes is really obsessed with wide play. So why play the kind of players that play through the middle and employ them in a left wing game. Super poor. In other news, Ashley Young is very useless.

    • Redrich

      29 January 2014 at 03:02

      @Jay Wire: You should contact him personally and share your view. He will, no doubt, be enlightened by your genius!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      • johnsom33

        29 January 2014 at 08:02

        @Redrich: How is this comment in anyway constructive? I realize you dont care for JayWire, but why not ignore him?

  8. Warzycha

    28 January 2014 at 20:45

    OK. We have an improvement here, we have 67% possession in the first half against a midfield consisted o Noone.

  9. Jay Wire

    28 January 2014 at 20:47

    I’m also hoping for a miraculous situation where Moyes takes Young and Valencia out and introduces Rooney and Januzaj/Kagawa so that maybe by such miracles he can see what kind of potential we have in a wingerless system. It will never happen though. No way. Most likely Mata and Van Persie out and Rooney and Chicharito so we can continue crossing for the rest of the year

    • The_Philosopher

      29 January 2014 at 10:12

      @Jay Wire: I think Moyes is allergic to attractive attacking football so it probably won’t happen while he’s the manager.

      • Karl

        29 January 2014 at 12:44

        @The_Philosopher: Our manager’s philosophy on “attacking football” is “add more strikers…in DM positions” and “wingers as full backs”

  10. Warzycha

    28 January 2014 at 21:42

    It was a long cold winter for Manchester United.
    Crosses and crosses by Valencia and Young were stopped upon defenders time and time again.
    Try as they might, they couldn’t beat defenders.

    But one day, a little Spaniard came in.
    A really short Spaniard named special Juan.
    The special Juan gave United its balls back.

    …and they lived happily ever after

  11. Andrija Djuranovic

    28 January 2014 at 22:04

    Ashley Young-3 goals, two assists in last 5 games. Player of the Month? 🙂

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