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Five questions Moyes must answer

Brian Lofrumento examines David Moyes' most pressing issues

By | 2nd July 2013
david moyes

Yesterday was a strange day for Manchester United supporters. For the first time since 1986, a manager other than Sir Alex Ferguson showed up to work as manager of the Red Devils. David Moyes has officially taken the keys to the manager’s office at Carrington, and just like his first day on the job at Everton, the Scot has a lot of questions to answer. Here are five of the biggest questions for the 50 year old:


Wayne Rooney | No list about Moyes’s early challenges would be complete without the inclusion of Manchester United’s most dividing figure. Supporters have already had their say about the striker who has now submitted not one but two transfer requests with the Premier League champions, and now Moyes will have to decide if the player he managed at Everton should stay at the club.

The pair are set to meet this week for showdown talks following a rejected bid already from Arsenal. Moyes will need to consider Rooney’s growing unrest at the club, along with the stunted progress of Javier Hernandez and Danny Welbeck if Rooney is to stay at the club. On top of that, the Scot will consider the impact on Robin van Persie and Shinji Kagawa, both of which are tipped to be some of the most influential members of United’s attack this season.


The midfield | If there’s one area where United supporters have always doubted Fergie, it’s the midfield. Despite cruising to last season’s Premier League crown, the Red Devils have had a questionable midfield for many years now. Michael Carrick is the only consistent figure in the center of the Old Trafford pitch, and with Paul Scholes gone – again – there’s a clear lack of experience alongside Carrick.

Tom Cleverley, Anderson, Ryan Giggs, and Darren Fletcher have all had a chance to impress, and have done so with varying degrees of success. Cleverley is best positioned to nail down a spot alongside Carrick, but the young England international has failed to find consistency at Old Trafford. On top of that, he doesn’t offer a goalscoring option alongside Carrick’s defense-first approach, so Moyes may want more goals from midfield.

Thiago Alcantara is heavily linked with a move to the club, but it remains to be seen if United can clinch a deal.


The defense | At their peaks, Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic were the undisputed defensive kings of Europe. The pair formed a formidable force in front of Edwin van der Sar, but like their former Dutch keeper, both are only getting older. Rio is already 34 years old, while Vidic has recently been struggling with injuries and form. If that wasn’t enough, Patrice Evra is also thinking about a return to Monaco as an early retirement in the French Riviera.

If rumors are true, Moyes is already turning his attention to this challenge. Leighton Baines has already been the subject of a failed transfer bid, while rumors continue to grow linking Benfica defender Ezequiel Garay with the club. If Moyes can’t figure out a solution in time for the new season, he may have to put his trust in Fabio, twin brother of first eleven staple Rafael. Fabio is more than capable of serving as a backup to Patrice Evra, but he hasn’t established any trust with Moyes – or Fergie, for that matter.


Backroom staff | The club has little time to establish rapport between the players and the new staff, especially considering the mass exodus that followed Fergie out of the club. Assistant manager Mike Phelan, goalkeeping coach Eric Steele, and player favorite Rene Muelensteen have all followed Fergie out of the club, so the players will have to get used to a whole new set of staff.

For that reason, former United player Phil Neville has been linked with a coaching job to bridge the gap between coaching staff and players, but Moyes is yet to make a move. Instead, the former Everton manager has moved quickly to appoint Steve Round as his new assistant, but Round will have big shoes to fill as the players adjust.


United as a force | United have been a force in English football in every way since 1992. From the commercial side of things to the never say die attitude to the ability to attract the world’s stars in the transfer market, there are few – if any – clubs as big as United. Most of that centered around the sheer genius of Sir Alex Ferguson, so Moyes will have to prove that he can pick up where his predecessor left off.

The first big question mark surrounds whether or not David Moyes can get the biggest players to sign for United. Cristiano Ronaldo has been flirting with the Red Devils for months now, but question marks remain over whether Moyes is a big enough pull for the world’s biggest stars. If Moyes wants to overcome those question marks, he’ll have to make a big statement in the transfer market this summer, and most importantly back that up with results at the start of the season. The champions take on Chelsea, Manchester City, and Liverpool early on in the Premier League calendar, so the pressure is on Moyes to get the players to peak performance quickly.

How do you think Moyes will fare at United? What does he have to do to ensure success? Have your say below!

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