Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 20 August 2014

10 things Moyes must do to try and halt Manchester United’s slide - and save his bacon

David Moyes watched his Manchester United team crash to a 3-0 defeat against Liverpool at Old Trafford
David Moyes watched his Manchester United team crash to a 3-0 defeat against Liverpool at Old Trafford

1.BEAT OLYMPIAKOS: First things first... after the humiliating defeat to Liverpool on Sunday, David Moyes must somehow lift, motivate and inspire his players to overturn a 2-0 deficit against Olympiakos tomorrow and stay in the Champions League. Victory won't come close to curing United's ills, but it will provide some much needed cheer for the fans, players and Moyes himself. It would also keep the highly unlikely dream of winning the competition alive and show that in a BIG game Moyes CAN deliver the goods.

2. MAKE OLD TRAFFORD A FORTRESS AGAIN: Regardless of the result tomorrow, Moyes must ensure that United do not lose at home again in the Premier League this season. The Red Devils have already lost FIVE times on their own patch. They also exited the FA Cup and League Cup at Old Trafford. United's next league home game is against Manchester City.

3. SHAKE HIMSELF: Saying that Liverpool were coming to Old Trafford as favourites was an extraordinary error. He's the United manager, not the boss of Middlesbrough! No one should ever enter their backyard thinking they will win. Under Moyes, too many sides believe that. He has to start talking like he's boss of one of the biggest clubs on the planet and be bigger, stronger and smarter to convince the fans he ought to be there.

4. GET THE TACTICS RIGHT: Too often this season United have lacked shape, organisation and discipline. You watch them and wonder if the players actually know where they are supposed to be and what they are supposed to be doing. Like the manager, they look lost. Moyes has to find a way of playing that suits his squad to start consistently winning.

5. SORT OUT ROO AND RVP: Wayne Rooney (pictured) and Robin van Persie played like strangers on Sunday. They just aren't combining at all. Last season RVP was the main man with Rooney playing second fiddle. Under Moyes, it seems Rooney has taken star billing and the Dutchman can't cope. If the manager can't encourage them to perform together, one has to go. Right now that has to be Van Persie, a shadow of the striker who took United to title glory last season. No matter the player, Roy Keane, David Beckham or Rooney, Ferguson was always in charge. Moyes must be just as ruthless to Van Persie. Tell him to get his finger out or drop him.

6. SOLVE MATA'S PROBLEM: Playing Juan Mata out wide is a waste of time. Moyes paid £37 million for Mata so surely he should build a team around the Spaniard rather than simply including him to fill in a hole on the flank. Mata must play centrally or not at all.

7. BUY, BUY, BUY WISELY: If Moyes is around in the summer and handed £150 million by the Glazers to re-build the side, he has to bring proven quality into the team. Two top class centre-backs, two powerful and creative midfielders and a striker with searing pace would do for starters.

8. STOP WHINING: You can't be unlucky all the time!

9. LOOK AT LIVERPOOL: Brendan Rodgers had a difficult first season at Liverpool... look at him and them now.

10. CALL SIR ALEX: If all else fails, tell Ferguson to come back as manager and offer to be his assistant!

 steven beacom

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