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Premier League Playback: Moyes needs more, Suarez is Superman, Altidore (finally) off the mark

Dec 5, 2013, 7:18 AM EST

Britain Soccer Premier League AP

MAN UNITED ON THE BRINK OF OBLIVION?

Time and time again people have lambasted David Moyes‘ stuttering start to his reign on the throne at Old Trafford, let that pattern continue. Not only are Moyes’ Manchester United side regressing rapidly, his old team Everton have now overtaken his new team.

That must be a bitter pill to swallow for the 51-year-old Scot.

Frustration and disappointment was etched across his face post-game, Moyes bemoaned his sides bad luck, once again, as Everton won at Old Trafford for the first time in 21 years in the PL.

“I’m very disappointed. We needed a bit of good fortune and we didn’t get it,” Moyes said. “Everton kept at it and showed us what a good team they are. We didn’t defend the goal well enough so it was our own doing. We had some chances as well, as did Everton. They have been playing well and that’s why they are up near the top of the league.”

And Wednesday’s performance showed us all why United are languishing in ninth spot. Now I, like many, have yet to judge Moyes’ tenure at United just 14 PL games into his reign. That would be slightly misguided. However, it seems as though defeatism is starting to creep into his words and when his old Everton side, a team that under his tutelage never won at United or away at any of the other big teams, strolled into the Red Devils backyard and impressed for large swathes of the game you have to be worried. We all know Moyes was handed “the impossible job” when he took over from Sir Alex Ferguson, but the same could be said for Roberto Martinez taking over at Everton from Moyes. The Spaniard has done a terrific job at Everton and his side are playing without fear. Under Moyes Everton were defense minded and he got the very best out of their ability. Martinez is helping the Toffees’ players dig deeper and go beyond their boundaries.

FULL PREMIER LEAGUE PLAYBACK ARCHIVE

Moyes is having the opposite effect at United. His regimented style of management works to a certain extent, but so many players at United possess incredible levels of skill that they can’t be shackled and Moyes shouldn’t try to restrict them. With over a third of the PL season gone, Moyes’ men are 12 points off league leaders Arsenal and in his own words: “It’s a big catch up for us now.”

Can United do it?

Moyes should take a leaf out of Martinez’ book and help United’s players push their talent to the limit, instead of playing within it. If that somehow happens overnight, United are back in the title race. Right now, Moyes’ men have a battle on their hands to finish in the top four.

Premier League Schedule – Week 14

Result Recap & Highlights
Arsenal 2-0 Hull City Recap and watch here
Crystal Palace 1-0 West Ham Recap and watch here
Fulham 1-2 Tottenham Recap and watch here
Liverpool 5-1 Norwich City Recap and watch here
Man Utd 0-1 Everton Recap and watch here
Southampton 2-3 Aston Villa Recap and watch here
Stoke 0-0 Cardiff Recap and watch here
Sunderland 3-4 Chelsea Recap and watch here
Swansea 3-0 Newcastle Recap and watch here
West Brom 2-3 Man City Recap and watch here

SUPERMAN WEARS A LUIS SUAREZ T-SHIRT – IS HE IN THE SAME LEAGUE AS MESSI, RONALDO?

What we all witnessed on Wednesday night at Anfield was a thing of beauty from Uruguayan forward Luis Suarez. Yes, he loves scoring against Norwich City — as three hat tricks in five games against the Canaries and 11 goals in total proves — but the sheer variety and splendor of his three first half goals on Wednesday, and his sublime free kick after the break for his fourth, mean his star continues to rise. Despite all the controversy surrounding him, you just can’t get away from how talented a player he is and Suarez became the first-player in PL history to score three hat tricks against the same club. Since returning from his 10-game suspension, Suarez has scored 13 goals in nine games and leads the Premier League scoring charts.

Across Stanley Park at Everton’s Goodison Park, Toffees fans used to exclaim that “Superman wears a Tim Cahill t-shirt” after the Australian midfielder became a goalscoring legend and used to lift his shirt up to reveal the Superman’s famous ‘S’ under his jersey. No disrespect to Cahill, but Suarez is much more deserving of the comparison with Clark Kent’s alter ego. So much so, that I think the 26-year-old forward is getting to the point of being mentioned in the same breath as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as one of the best players on the planet. The only thing that’s holding him back from that final step to greatness is appearing in the UEFA Champions League. If he keep scoring four goal hauls and putting in virtuoso performances like Wednesday, Liverpool will be back in the UCL next season. Suarez is on a one-man mission to solidify Liverpool’s spot in the top four. Ahead of a World Cup year in his native South America, the incredibly gifted forward is now walking amongst the soccer greats of this world. Messi, Ronaldo and Ribery?! Forget that. After Suarez’ dazzling displays this season, he’s at least third. Come the end of the season, Liverpool will have to be at least fourth in the PL standings to keep hold of ‘Superman.’

AFTER 1,205 MINUTES… USMNT STRIKER FINALLY HAS A GOAL

Praise. The. Lord. Jozy Altidore finally has a goal in the Premier League for new club Sunderland. It’s been a rough old few months for Altidore at Sunderland but finally he had something to celebrate in the league on Wednesday against Chelsea. The U.S. international scored a typical ‘Altidore’ goal (watch below) as he rolled John Terry with his back to goal and rifled in a left-footed strike to celebrate being recalled to the starting lineup in style. His joy was to be short lived as Chelsea and the Black Cats slugged it out and the Blues came away with a 4-3 win from the Stadium of Light, but with the World Cup draw on Friday reminding us all that Brazil 2014 is right around the corner, the USA need their main man Jozy back on form. Goals like the one he scored on Wednesday show confidence is starting to flicker back into his game at struggling Sunderland. Long may that continue.

FESTIVE SEASON BEGINS WITH GOALS GALORE… IT WILL STAY THAT WAY

33 goals in 10 games in midweek meant a mammoth haul of goals in the PL. Under the floodlights on a cold December evening, it was certainly enough to warm your cockles if the Bovril and Pie wasn’t doing it for the fans in the stadium. At an average of 3.3 goals per game, match day 14 delivered almost a single goal more than the average of 2.58 which has been the norm for PL games so far this season. Then again, just like the Christmas shoppers already dashing around most cities in the UK , the PL becomes a bit crazed this time of year.

Take a look at the image above I stumbled across… now that was one crazy Boxing Day set of results back in 1963. The rest of December and Boxing Day this year could resemble something similar, as new players come into the lineup, injuries mount up due to the large number of games and the weather becomes increasingly poor. Plus the January transfer window is just around the corner, so plenty of players and managers will be on edge. Hold on to your hats, the next month of PL action will be one wild ride, here’s all 32 goals from Wednesday’s games below in a neatly wrapped early Christmas present. Enjoy the video feast.

Premier League Playback takes an alternative looks at all the PL action every week.

  1. cashtext4all.com - Dec 5, 2013 at 7:54 AM

    glad to see jozy get one in. lets hope he gets more and sunderland wins all their matches.

  2. delboy0 - Dec 5, 2013 at 4:22 PM

    Man Utd prove the American sports team ownership model doesn’t work in soccer. Soccer teams are not meant to make profit they are meant to break even at best because they are community organizations. American owners see soccer teams as global corporations so prioritize profit before performance. This means teams owned by Americans tend to buy players on the cheap because they wish to maximize their profit and the playing staff reduces in quality because these don’t want to pay the high transfer fees for the best players and the transfer fee doesn’t exist in American sports.

    Man Utd are the biggest team in the world and is one of the richest teams in the world if not the richest, but their team is lacking the quality because the American ownership is using the money Man Utd generate to improve their own fortune rather than improve the team.

    The European model of ownership is put the profit into the team by buying the expensive high quality players that make the team strong. Bayern Munich are now the best team in the world currently because they have been buying the great players, Man Utd deemed too expensive. It seems only American ownership tries to get success on the cheap, because Man Utd now have an inferior roster to not only Bayern, but Real Madrid, Barcelona, PSG, Man City, Chelsea, Dortmund and even Spurs. Sir Alex Ferguson performed miracles by producing championship winning teams with lesser talent than their rivals, but under mere mortal David Moyes the reality has hit, they have an aging team and not enough investment has been made in new players to maintain championship standard team.

    The questions is are the Glazers prepared to take less personal profit to fund improvements to the roster to make Man Utd competitive again.

    • billobrienschindimple - Dec 5, 2013 at 5:00 PM

      And yet 2 of the top 4 clubs in the EPL have American ownership. Granted Arsenal is not under full ownership, but the majority owner is American. I do think that the Glazer’s have no clue, keep in mind that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have historically been bad, save for the one year Gruden got them to the Super Bowl. On the other hand, FSG spend and the Red Sox rwap the benefits. FSG has spent, not always wisely mind you, for Liverpool.

      • delboy0 - Dec 6, 2013 at 2:25 AM

        In truth the American owned teams you mentioned are kind of in a false positions. Arsenal are top because they have had an easy fixture list that means they have avoided many of the top teams in the League and Liverpool has been relying on just 2 or 3 players all season.

        I’m not saying American owned team cannot be successful because Man Utd have been, but American ownership means under-investment in the team. Man Utd are the biggest team in the world, Liverpool are second most supported club in the world and Arsenal generate more money per match than any team in the world. All three are the biggest teams in England and the world, yet their quality and depth of their rosters are not only inferior to many of the big teams in mainland Europe, but non-American owned English big teams,. American ownership means your team will recruit players lower than the club’s status because profit is the aim.

        FSG spent big for 1 season, badly I know as a Liverpool fan, but did they really because they recouped $81 Million due to player sales. My team Liverpool, the 2nd biggest team in the world resorts to taking damaged goods or cast offs from other major teams in the hope they get quality players for lower prices like Sturridge, Coutinho, Sakho, and Cissoko.

        Liverpool and Man Utd both have policies of not buying players for high transfer fees at the ages of 27 and above because they feel their transfer value drops when they get older. This is an American ownership policy that puts profit before performance because is soccer 27 to 30 is the peak years for a soccer player.

        Arsenal also under American ownership also nearly had a revolt from fans because they believed their was not enough investment in the team, until Ozil was purchased the first major signing in years.

    • reidldavis - Dec 5, 2013 at 5:12 PM

      Spurs supporter here, so I don’t have much of a stake in this argument, but I’d tend to disagree that the model is what’s to blame, rather than the individual owners themselves, and the management decisions they endorse. You mentioned Bayern, but nearly every club in the Bundesliga makes a profit and the league is the most financially healthy in the world — yet that hasn’t seemed to impact that quality of play. Similarly, as the other commenters here said, other American-owned clubs are doing well. Even Spurs, run in a financially sound manner (i.e. not at a loss) by Daniel Levy and Joe Lewis somehow manages to remain competitive despite structural disadvantages (i.e. The Lane is about half the size of Emirates.)

      • delboy0 - Dec 6, 2013 at 2:39 AM

        Bayern are the only team in the Bundesliga of the same status as the big English clubs. In fact they are a smaller team globally than Arsenal, Liverpool and Man Utd, but have a vastly superior roster because they invest more heavily in players than the American owned English teams. The rest of the Germany is inferior to the Premier League and their success and profitability is more to do with a golden generation of home grown Germany players that save German clubs a huge amount of money because homegrown players are cheap. Golden generations come and go like England’s golden generation at the start of millennium. Steven Gerrard at his peak saved Liverpool around $90 Million because he was homegrown.

        I think Spurs are exception a team owned by Americans that heavily invested in players, but then again they did because they got $140 Million for Gareth Bale.

    • bear06 - Dec 6, 2013 at 3:03 AM

      The German Bundesliga is one of the best leagues in the world and it will only get better.

  3. godsholytrousers - Dec 5, 2013 at 11:14 PM

    Get over blaming the Americans. That United Roster was the child of SAF, nothing more, nothing less. A pack of yes men who were “gifted” championships because of the unhealthy relationship between the FA and SAF. Talent wouldn’t come to Manchester Utd to play for SAF, they ran from him (Beckham, Christiano).

    Your chickens have come home to roost.

    • delboy0 - Dec 6, 2013 at 2:54 AM

      Completely untrue. Both Beckham and Ronaldo say Sir Alex Ferguson were their greatest coach and if Ferguson had not retired Ronaldo would have returned. Ronaldo left Man Utd because the Glazers where not prepared to pay the salary Real Madrid offered, which is ironic when it is estimated the Glazers have paid themselves more than $900 million in the teams profits over the last 5 years. If a fraction of this had been invested in the team, Man Utd would not be in the trouble they are currently in.

      I have examples that prove it was Glazers and not Ferguson. Last season Ferguson wanted Falcao, Xavi Martinez and Lucas. The Glazers didn’t want to purchase Falcao because he was too old and would not have much sell-on value. Man Utd only bid $20 Million dollars for Martinez and Bayern bid $65 Million and blew them out of the water and went on to become Champions of Europe. They also tried to get Lucas on the cheap and PSG just paid $33 Million asking price and took the player out of Man Utd reach and now the team is lacking the quality these players would have certainly brought to the table.

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