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David Moyes laments Manchester United’s “mental softness”; Meulensteen calls Red Devil tactics “quite straightforward”

Feb 9, 2014, 5:12 PM EDT

Throughout the first months of his tenure at Old Trafford, David Moyes espouses silver linings in the face of results like Sunday’s. Though that was a source of frustration for some Manchester United fans, the new Red Devils’ boss would still fall back on bad luck or  ‘outplaying opponents’ while the defending champions struggled at home. Though the descriptions often prompted questions as to what Moyes was seeing, they also showed a level of loyalty to his players. At least he was protecting them in the press.

No such loyalties were present after today’s match at Old Trafford, where a record 81 crosses where unable to get United more than a 2-2 result from a bunkered and resilient Fulham. Up 2-1 in the match’s final moments, a mistake at the back cost the Red Devils two points, with Darren Bent‘s 94th minute goal seeing United drop points at home for the seventh time in 13 games.

[RECAP: Manchester United 2-2 Fulham: Darren Bent denies Old Trafford comeback as United continue to falter]

source:  “Today was as bad as it gets,” Moyes told reporters after the match, his team coming off a 1-0 loss last weekend at Stoke City. “How we didn’t win, I have no idea. It’s goals that count. You can have as much possession as you like.”

However much possession United had hoped for, they undoubtedly got more. The Red Devils would finish the match with 76 percent of the ball, an imbalance owed to Fulham’s conservative tactics as well as Steve Sidwell‘s 19th minute opener. United would finish the match with a 31-6 edge in shots, having put nine shots on goal (to Fulham’s three).

Lamenting Bent’s late equalizer as “diabolical,” Moyes agreed critics “could use maybe mental softness (to explain) that we didn’t see the job out and get the job done. I would agree with that.”

Despite his team’s endless crosses, the Red Devils boss bristled at the notion his team was overly reliant on playing from wide, noted some would characterize dominant wing play as part of Manchester United’s DNA. Fulham manager René Meulensteen, however, called United’s tactics “quite straightforward.”

“[G]et it wide, get it in,” the former Manchester United assistant explained, “whether it was from the full-back pushing on or the supporting wide man and midfielder.”

A long time member of Alex Ferguson’s coaching staff, Meulensteen was let go from United in June of 2013, with Moyes electing to bring his own team to Old Trafford.

  1. dfstell - Feb 9, 2014 at 6:39 PM

    I am so sick of the supporters of Moyes. The evidence as Everton was that he could take a club with a 7th place budget to about a 7th place finish. There was never any lovely play at Everton. It was all this same agricultural hoof it out wide and then cross it into the box. He never should have gotten the job. But now, all we’ve seen is the same agricultural crap. The players don’t play for him. Injuries seem to be on the upswing and there are rumors of players being uphappy.

    I just don’t see what glimmer of hope the supporters are hanging their hats on? It’s just nonsense about how, “United isn’t the kind of club that sacks managers after a few bad results….” What BS! We had a once-in-a-lifetime manager in SAF. Now we’re going to do what every other top club in the world does: Try to hire the best managers and rotate them every few years. We don’t want to be a reactionary club like Chelsea, but look at what their “reactionary” firings have gotten them: Top of the league.

    Just bite the bullet and get rid of him. Make Ryan Giggs the player manager and find someone better this summer.

  2. drewvt6 - Feb 10, 2014 at 1:04 AM

    The players were just going through the motions today. He’s lost the locker room. Stop wasting time!

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