Manchester United FC: What Went Wrong Under David Moyes?

20 League Titles (13 BPL and 7 Premier League), three European crowns, 11 FA Cups and four League Cups – these are all the achievements of English football club, Manchester United FC.

Most of those achievements were under the reign of Sir Alex Ferguson, who was at the helm for a massive 26 seasons – from 1986 until 2013.

What has gone wrong at Man U this season?

What has gone wrong at Man U this season? (Picture from

Now, Ferguson has retired from football management, and Man United are struggling under new Scottish manager, David Moyes. They are lying 12th in the BPL table, which is their worst-ever start to a BPL season in the past 26 years.

Considering that these players make up exactly the same team that Ferguson led to the BPL title just last season, what could have gone wrong? Here are my thoughts about the now-poisoned chalice at Man United.

Too much change at United

By firing the coaching staff that used to work at United and bringing in people of his choosing was just the first step to disaster. This is because players don’t like too much change. For example, If Moyes had stuck to the original members of the coaching staff that Ferguson had and the players respected, United may be having more success.

But as it stands, the players have to forge a new relationship with the people whom they are currently working with. For example, United goalkeeper David De Gea had a strong relationship with goalkeeping coach Eric Steele. But now he has to work with a new goalkeeping coach.

In fact, Steele had even made an effort to pick up the Spanish language, so that he could communicate with De Gea. Would new goalkeeping coach, Chris Woods, be able to forge the same bond with De Gea? Even if he could, it would take time – and precious points could be dropped in the meantime.

Too much change does not bode well. So Moyes should have kept the amount of change at the club to a minimum – for United to succeed.

Moyes is too inexperienced at squad tinkering

There is too much squad tinkering and a lack of confidence at the club.

There is too much squad tinkering and a lack of confidence at the club.

One of the main reasons that United are faltering so badly now, is because of the inexperience of Moyes. When Ferguson used to tinker with the squad, he usually got his tactics spot-on. He knew when to keep the same team and exactly when he should give the players a rest. And he never changed the team purely for the fun of it – unless the match was a meaningless one, for example, a Champions League game where United had already qualified for the next round in pole position.

But in the case of David Moyes, he has been making too many changes that don’t quite make sense. And as a result of his tinkering, the players are not able to gel together very well or read each other’s game properly – thus resulting in unnecessary points being dropped for United.

For example, there were seven changes to the Man United line-up in their defeat against West Brom, since their derby humiliation against neighbours Manchester City. If Moyes can be more consistent with his squad and stick to the same players for the club’s main games, then he may see much better results.

There is no self-confidence in the squad

A victory for an athlete or a team can do wonders. At Man United, the opposite is happening. With every defeat or failure to win a game, the players are starting to doubt themselves. As a result, this has a negative effect on their self-confidence and they will start to question their own abilities as football players. And because of this, they will thus become even more susceptible to negativity and failure – and end up losing even more games.

On the other hand, when Sir Ferguson was at the helm last season, the team was winning games almost all the time, and with every game won, they started to have belief in themselves that they can do it and they did – by winning the BPL title.

Such an analogy also applies to once-great athletes and teams, such as United’s nemeses Liverpool FC, as well as tennis great Roger Federer and golf legend Tiger Woods – who are now struggling in their respective sports.

In fact, it is this sense of belief is the thing separates the winners from the losers. This is what happened in the case of Liverpool’s amazing Champions League 2005 comeback from 3 goals down against AC Milan in football.

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