Manchester United’s 2-2 draw against Fulham yesterday was another nail on the cross for David Moyes and he has been crucified by fans for the way he set out to play Fulham.
On the day, United attempted a Premier League record 81 crosses but did not manage to score from any in a display that made United look tactically inept under Moyes. Despite the fact our crosses were not working, we remained stubborn and continued to launch them into the box but Moyes has denied that United were one-dimensional against Fulham.
“It was never one way,” he said.
“If you’re just going to look at the stats and think about the crosses you need to think about the number of passes and I don’t think we just went out and crossed the ball. Some people might say that one of the things that Manchester United do is play with width and cross the ball, that’s in the genes here.
Did Moyes watch a different game? His denial of United’s game plan against Fulham is ignorant.
We had no plan B and simply relied on sending in hopeful crosses into the box one after the other, something which played into the hands of a tall Fulham side. It was no coincidence that despite firing in over 80 crosses into the box, neither of United’s goals came from one.
“When I saw Manchester United today I thought the game plan was quite straightforward – get it wide, get it in, whether it was from the full-back pushing on or the supporting wide man and midfielder,” Meulensteen said after the game.
“If you’re well-organised and the goalkeeper is in good positions to come and collect the ball at times, yeah, it can be easy,” said Meulensteen. “You need a little bit of creativity and a bit of variety at times to open [teams] up. The first goal they scored was from a ball that was in a second phase, fell and was a sort of pass across the goal that got tapped in. And the second came from a clearance then a shot and a deflection.”
It’s one thing for United to rely exclusively on trying to score from crosses but it is another thing altogether for Moyes to deny it was the case. That’s just an insult to the intelligence of anyone that watched the game.
Moyes’ tactical flexibility has proved to be one of his weaknesses this year and unless he starts to try other tactics, United’s season is only going to go from bad to worse.