Manchester United fans expected this season to be tough, expected it be full of trials and tribulations as we embarked on a new post-Ferguson era into the mysterious unknown like Frodo in search of Mordor. However, few expected us to be in the position we find ourselves.
Last night’s loss against Olympiacos was another gentle (hard) tap on the nails in Moyes’ proverbial coffin as the pressure mounts on the Scotsman. Sixth in the league, out of both domestic cups and teetering on the edge of European elimination, this season has been nothing short of an abomination.
Unsurprisingly, Moyes has been on the receiving end of staunch criticism and rightly so – he has underperformed to the nth degree and sunk in the deep end. He looks out of his depth, but as much as he is at fault for our current demise, the players don’t deserve to play in the United shirt right now.
Do any of them care enough about United’s current demise? Wherever you look, the players are bereft of any fight. They’ve got as much fire in their belly as a care bear.
There is not any single player who the finger can be pointed to and that’s the underlying issue right now. Take last night for example – Ferdinand was atrocious, Smalling was out of his depth, Carrick and Cleverley were a tragedy, Rooney was terrible, Evra was schooled by Campbell, Young/Valencia possessed the attacking threat of a wine gum while Van Persie completely underperformed.
Was Moyes at fault for the fact United played like a Sunday League side? No. The players completely let United down in Athens. We set-up to play like we did against Arsenal – compact with a focus on a fast counter-attack. Instead, we countered our own attack by playing like amateurs.
Cleverley and Carrick earned rave reviews for their performance against Arsenal only a few weeks ago and were key to United’s tight defensive unit at the Emirates. Last night, they were a shambles and Olympiacos had a free roam of the pitch because of it.
Rooney hammered Crystal Palace at the weekend yet the only thing that got hammered last night was the ground as Rooney huffed and puffed his way to mediocrity.
Van Persie scored against Crystal Palace and we all saw it as a stepping stone for his performances to improve but he wilted like a spinach leaf in the sun. Sure, he had no service but when he did, he skied from ten yards.
The buck this season does not stop at Moyes.
Yes he deserves to be criticised for United’s downfall this year but the fact that United’s players do not seem to care what happens this year has made it an uphill struggle for him from the very start.