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Are Manchester United on the verge of a monumental collapse?

Jan 6, 2014, 10:34 AM EDT

Liverpool v Manchester United - Premier League Getty Images

Drudging despondently down the Old Trafford touchline towards the tunnel, it’s becoming an all too familiar action for David Moyes this season.

On Sunday his Manchester United side were knocked out of the FA Cup 2-1 by Swansea City, as Wilfried Bony‘s last-minute winner piled more agony onto a sorry state of affairs for United in the 2013-14 campaign. They are now out of the FA Cup at the first hurdle, sit seventh in the Premier League and are 11 points behind leaders Arsenal.

But in their cup defeat, an all too familiar story unraveled as United failed to finish chances and have now scored just 13 goals in 11 PL and FA Cup games at home this season. That lack of creativity in front of over 75,00o expectant fans is annoying Moyes as the Red Devils have regularly turned on the attacking magic away from home.

“We didn’t do enough to win it; we made some opportunities but they weren’t enough,” Moyes told BT Sport after the 2-1 defeat to Swansea. “When we went down to 10 men we just needed to see it out and try to force a replay, but we didn’t get that far. We kept trying to go for it and got caught a little bit and lost the second goal.”

That ‘didn’t do enough to win it’ theme has been going on all season.

And as some of Monday morning’s back pages in England alluded to a ‘crumbling Empire’ and other hyperbolic headlines relating to United’s demise, it’s hard not to get worked up about the situation Moyes’ men find themselves in.

(MORE: In 7th place and out of the FA Cup: Uncharted territory for Manchester United)

After all, it’s now four defeats in their last six home games in all competitions for United.

We all know Sir Alex Ferguson‘s era saw Old Trafford become a fortress of indomitable solitude for the Red Devils, but now teams are coming to OT with no fear. United’s fans are worried but are sticking with Moyes as they always knew the transition from Fergie would be tough. On the bright side Untied are in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League and have a relatively easy draw against Olympiakos, plus they face Sunderland in the League Cup semifinals on Tuesday. Every cloud, and all that…

That ‘Empire’ that Ferguson built up so ferociously isn’t quite crumbling… if it carries on like this, it could be on the verge of a monumental collapse.

  1. Greg - Jan 6, 2014 at 10:41 AM

    You better believe Fergie saw this coming after losing the league in 2012, winning it last year with a fairly weak team was an exception rather than the rule. They’ve been a top team for 20 years, longer than they had any real right to be, nothing lasts forever

  2. dfstell - Jan 6, 2014 at 11:10 AM

    It isn’t like United is going to get relegated anytime soon. They have too many built-in financial advantages that will lead to good enough players to prevent THAT.

    But, it is becoming pretty clear that Moyes isn’t “the guy”. There just isn’t any sign that things will improve. It isn’t just that they’re losing, they aren’t even losing with style. They’re just lumping it into the box…..except that they don’t have a target man. They might as well play Fellaini at center forward if this is how Moyes wants to play. It’s really agricultural stuff for a time with so much talent.

    Plus…..they players don’t seem to like him.

    On the other hand, this was probably a necessary step. No top flight manager wants to succeed Alex Ferguson because you’ll always pale next to what SAF achieved. So, United probably had to hire a guy like Moyes and hope for the best. Now, they need to decide when to fire Moyes because they WILL be able to attract top flight managers to succeed Moyes and “restore United to glory”.

    The only tricky part remaining is the timing of the sacking. Honestly, I would have voted for giving him the rest of the season, just for appearances sake. But, given the level of failure, they could probably fire him soon. He’s out of the FA Cup, so all he has left to do is something embarassing in Europe OR something that makes a Top 4 finish impossible.

  3. jrocknstuff - Jan 6, 2014 at 2:10 PM

    Everyone always talked about the wonders Moyes worked with such small funds at Everton, but look what Martinez is doing this year. It’s hard not to believe Moyes under achieved at Everton. I’m not sure he’s long for Old Trafford. I can see them courting Rodgers, Laudrup or Martinez next season.

    • thetomi - Jan 6, 2014 at 8:35 PM

      This comparison is a bit misleading. Yes Martinez is a manager with a defined and entertaining style, and yes he is getting good results. I agree that is impressive for a first year coach, and I think it’s worth noting that Everton are on the same points as Moyes got last year. Well up until Christmas anyway.

      Also 3 of the most influential players on the team are on loan, so they have a significant increase in talent with very low cost. Lukaku, Berry and Delofeu in addition to the team’s other summer busines would have taken Everton’s transfer fees well beyond the 20mill pound average they sent with Moyes at the helm.

      Lastly this year half the league’s teams have a new manager, granted Martinez is one of them. Moyes’s points last year were against competition that was harder to face.
      Comparing the two isn’t as straight forward as it seems.

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