The minute Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho made it public that Juan Mata was up for sale, English Premiership’s reduced champions Manchester United never blinked an eye because in many of the reasons to the current humiliation and suffering the midfield has endured a lot and needed someone who would bring in creativity, style and experience. Juan Mata fitted into the description of that player that Manchester United needed in their midfield. For almost the entire first part of this season David Moyes has fumbled with many names with or without Wayne Rooney’s presence in the middle that has not yielded any positive and steady results.
The British media has quoted Arsene Wenger complains about Jose Mourinho’s tinkering tactics by selling Juan Mata to the Red Devils who beat Arsenal in the first round and by reinforcing their midfield, Juan is a weapon in handy if utilized well. Arsene is right to be worried without Juan Mata Manchester United managed to tame the Gunners midfield and easily walked away with three points. What will happen with the addition of Juan Mata that is all what is doing rounds in Arsene Wenger’s mind. But also Arsene has revealed that he is not confident that he can certain being on top of the table until the last day of the league something that can easily be used against his team.
Enter Fergie-Moyes take over.
When Sir Alex Ferguson decided that it was about time for him to pass on the mantle at Old Trafford, it was short time for both the management to weigh in on who was the proper manager that would carry on with the success of the Red Devils in the absence of Fergie. Because he had overstayed his welcome, there was no institutional capacity and functionality at Old Trafford and that was the reason why he was trusted to decide who was fit to take over from him. Something that did not go well with Jose Mourinho, in his biograpghy he revealed how cried after Fergie chose Moyes over him and in his anguish he has managed to punish Manchester United as a manager at Chelsea.
Whenever leaders overstay, institutions breakdown, the immediate way of work is individualism and this applies to any kind of industry.
So the management at Old Trafford was blinded and was in the over trust mode of the man called Sir Alex Ferguson. Though having a manager for some time brings stability for any club, but in the long run it kills the spirit to work as an institution in the cases when that particular manager or leader undermines institution functionality and capacity, the gap will be manifested through poor performance and inefficiency.
Manchester United lost it when they gave Fergie the powers to hire yet he had the option of staying as an employee at Old Trafford. Whether Fergie made his choice while covering for his record in hiring David Moyes or he truly never understood the actual man and his abilities as a manager that is another debate. Any elite manager in these times can manage to get positive results out of the current United team, but David Moyes’ conduct on the touchline reveals a lot in the mind of any person that understands the facial expression and body language of managers. The players’ response to Moyes’ instructions manifests that there is a manager-player relationship crisis at Old Trafford that has not be control and may spill over in an ugly manner come this summer. When you have a manager who cannot afford to joke or smile with his players, then you will not earn a manager-player trust during and after the game. We must get to read in Moyes’ conduct on the touchline and scrutinize it beyond the goals, celebrations and what his face says about his job.
The Old Trafford dark days come with a lot on Moyes’ plate to handle; first on his touchline bench seats an inexperienced coaching staff after letting go of the one that Sir Alex Ferguson left to help him fit in with the players something Moyes did not agree with hence coming with his own coaching staff that includes former Red Devils player Gary Neville a man that only thrives on his player experience at the club. So this and many other challenges come as a headache to Moyes and the club.
By signing Juan Mata Manchester United’s dark days are not over yet, the United goal keeper seems to be the most busiest member of the team this season something that needs to be resolved with more steady new pairs of legs and experience in both the central and full back part of the defense. In Patrice Evra is a very tired and ready to move player who cares not about the working hard for the team and if you are critical most goals have passed on his sides this season. The central defense has failed to be resolved and the continuous change in players has affected the way they players move in that defense so the absence of that coordination aids strikers of the opposite team with more reasons to disorganize the defense the more.
All that needs to be done is to resolve the manager-player relationship, the world of football needs to see a more humorous Moyes, and that bound needs to be seen during the game day matches. If United wants to compete in Europe next season they need to get better players that can match the current crop of players at Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea. Also Moyes must show that he can extract better results from the players he has before the end of the season and the least he can get is a Champions League place. Failure to do that his position at United needs to be reviewed.