With Manchester United currently suffering one of only a few sticky periods in the recent history of the club, things are veering dangerously towards the word crisis coming into play.
Here, therefore, is a five-pronged attack for United, as a football club, to avoid their early season slump becoming something far more serious, more lasting, and more worthy of that naughty C-word.
Continue The In-Stadium Support Of David Moyes:
Though plenty of doubters are starting to loosen their jaws, and threatening to unleash on Moyes, the in-stadium support of the new manager at Old Trafford has so far been pretty decent given the lack of form being shown. If Moyes, and United are to succeed as a happy couple then this must continue.
Old Trafford has a nasty knack of becoming ghostly when things aren’t quite going to plan, but so rarely have things not gone to plan at the Theatre of Dreams over the past 20 years that this has never really escalated into a serious problem.
There have already been instances of awkward silence creeping in over the past few weeks, and a touch of booing and derision after the West Brom defeat, and it is essential that the home faithful avoid these and instead vocally back up their new man in the face of adversity.
Avoid All Media Outlets As And Where Possible:
Take a peek at the sports section of any website, of any magazine, of any newspaper, or at any sports television coverage at the moment and it won’t take you long to come across Manchester United and crisis in the same sentence.
Seeing is believing, so if you want to avoid convincing yourself that United are set firmly on the path to cataclysmic failure, then you’re probably well advised to fix your gaze elsewhere.
The media are a powerful tool in any high profile demise, and boy oh boy will Moyes be becoming painfully aware of that right now.
Bring In Support For Moyes And Woodward:
Most coverage of United’s mini-slump post-Sir Alex Ferguson has focused on the departure of the Scottish legend, but perhaps a greater loss though, given the circumstances, was that of David Gill from the role of Chairman.
Gill formed a formidable relationship with Sir Alex in so many respects during their time together at the club, and though both men still play a role at Old Trafford, their reigned-in prominence has had a telling effect.
This was never more painfully evident than in the transfer market during the summer, where many were expecting United to bring in a host of big name recruits to support Moyes’ settling in period.
Names such as Fabregas, Ozil, and Baines were linked to the club during a frenetic period, but ultimately United only made one high profile signing in the form of Moyes’ old Everton battering-ram Marouane Fellaini.
You’d have to think that the likes of Fabregas, Ozil, and Baines wouldn’t have all escaped the clutches of United had Gill and Ferguson still played the lead role in negotiations rather than the new double act of Moyes and the so far thoroughly disappointing Ed Woodward.
To that effect, perhaps the next big move for the club needs to be towards bringing someone in to help such negotiations, or perhaps even giving good ol’ Sir Alex a say in transfer dealings going forward.
Increased Trust In Youth And Creativity:
There are some names in the current United squad that simply can’t be ignored. The likes of Robin Van Persie, Wayne Rooney, Michael Carrick, and Nemanja Vidic should be, and indeed are, the mainstays of any United team-sheet.
The support cast for the headline acts has however been shrouded in far greater doubt, and indecision so far under Moyes.
Injury, illness, and match fitness have a big say in the opening weeks of a league season, and shouldn’t be underestimated in any manager’s seeming indecision, but greater faith in the more youthful, exciting, and creative members of the United squad surely wouldn’t go amiss.
Moyes seems stuck in two minds as to whether he should stick or twist. Should he keep faith in United’s old heads, or should he take a more maverick approach? This is certainly up for debate, but in the short term he must get behind one of the two.
How much more positive and exciting does the following line-up sound than the slightly muddled sides that have featured so far this season for United?
(4-2-3-1) David De Gea, Patrice Evra, Nemanja Vidic, Phil Jones, Rafael, Michael Carrick, Marouane Fellaini, Shinji Kagawa, Wayne Rooney, Adnan Januzaj, Robin Van Persie
It’s easy to go all Championship Manager, but this doesn’t sound like a side that would lose at home to West Brom, or 4-1 away to Manchester City does it?
Win In Donetsk This Week, And Continue The Sound European Work So Far:
It sounds simple doesn’t it? Win their next game and all will be right with the world…
It isn’t exactly true, and it won’t exactly be easy, but it is essential for Moyes, his allies, and his players that they at the very least avoid defeat away to Shakhtar.
If United can avoid defeat then they’ll be very well placed in their developing Champions League group, and Moyes will be armed with an essential form of defence in the early stages of his tenure at United.
If he has to face up to criticism regarding their underwhelming league position as it stands, then he will need a fallback, and there is perhaps no better out there than to be able to refer to some encouraging form, and results on the continent. Win in Ukraine, and Moyes’ life will be a hell of a lot easier.