|David Moyes: worried?|
For the past five years, the two Manchester clubs have dominated the Premier League. But this season, after eight games, Manchester City are fourth and United are eighth, already eight points behind league leaders Arsenal. So why, all of a sudden, are the Manchester clubs suddenly barely competing for Champions League football?
Don’t blame the selection, blame the mentality
United manager David Moyes has only made one change to the league winning team over the summer, bringing in Marouane Fellaini, and his team selections have been very similar to Ferguson’s last year. Yet now he is accused of bad tactics because he is playing veteran Ryan Giggs instead of Shinji Kagawa. Last season however, Giggs had a storming campaign; surely Giggs is the safe option?
The story is slightly different for City, with manager Manuel Pellegrini bringing in stars such as Jovetic, Jesus Navas and Fernandinho. Yet the team still has the same core of players in David Silva, Aguero and Kompany at the back and they aren’t performing at their best.
Confidence has surely taken its toll here. Manchester United seem to have very little of it and when confidence is low, everything seems to go against you. Against Southampton for example, United were looking at wrapping up the three points with a simple 1-0 victory, yet the Saints managed to scrape a last minute goal to earn a draw. United’s mentality this season just seems a bit negative. Maybe Moyes has done something in training that has disgruntled the players, we don’t know, but United need to pick up their attitude soon, otherwise it could be a long season.
Without a doubt, Arsenal and Liverpool are having storming starts to their campaigns, punching well above their weights. Both of these teams have made excellent summer signings and have had some of their youngsters really mature into world-class players, with the likes of Ramsey for Arsenal and Coutinho and Sturridge coming good. Maybe the benchmark for Champion contenders has changed, leaving United and City behind the pace. If that is the case, then maybe Moyes and Pellegrini should have made more effective signings in the summer.
Overall, United’s problem lies with the managerial change. Losing Ferguson has taken a huge toll on the team and their confidence has shattered as a result. Unless they can find that winning prowess, they are going to have a very long season. City’s problem on the other hand I think lies, very simply, with Vincent Kompany, their captain and centre back. When he plays, City seem unstoppable. Yet recently he has suffered an injury and their defence falls apart without him. If Kompany can stay fit, I think City’s problems will end very soon and we could see a league winning side back in Manchester.