Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

David Moyes needs a flamethrower to sort out Manchester United

Telegraph Sport: where the debate really gets started

A disappointed David Moyes leaves the pitch after watching his Manchester United team crash to defeat against West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford on September 28, 2013
A disappointed David Moyes leaves the pitch after watching his Manchester United team crash to defeat against West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford on September 28, 2013

David Moyes needs many things to fix what is broken at Manchester United. He needs new, quality players to refresh a team in decline... no other manager but Sir Alex Ferguson could have cajoled and conjured another league title last Spring out of the motley crew Moyes inherited from the master.

Smalling, Anderson, Nani, Welbeck, Cleverley, Young, the sadly fading Ferdinand and Evra... if they were put up for sale tomorrow would any of United's biggest rivals come in for them? Or to put it another way, if they were currently at Aston Villa, would Moyes be considering a move for them? No on both counts.

As he toils in the shadow of Fergie, Moyes needs to earn respect at the top end of the transfer market to replenish a squad he acknowledges is not good enough. And to do that in the first transfer window he can properly prepare for in January after a shambolic summer effort, he needs to ensure Manchester United continue to look like a club the world's finest would consider joining.

And to do that he needs to invest in a flamethrower. The trial and error approach of the first two months hasn't worked. Those players do not look as if defeat is hurting them enough, nor do they seem as apprehensive about facing Moyes after a poor performance as at the thought of Fergie's fury awaiting them. Consequently Old Trafford is becoming a less daunting place for visiting teams and supporters.

Moyes needs to restore the fear factor as much as he needs time to rebuild his team. It's him or them.. and for the United faithful, to see those underperforming players prevail would be the most frightening scenario of all.