The Manchester United team, which is selected to play Arsenal on Sunday, has to put in a big performance for not just David Moyes, but the club.
Since Moyes replaced Sir Alex Ferguson this summer, United have yet to show a ‘big’, fighting performance that was so frequent under Ferguson, especially in the important fixtures.
Sunday doesn’t get much bigger than this for Moyes’ side. Arsenal could go 11 points clear of United if they win. But if the result is in their favor, then the gap is only five. This season has marked the re-emergence of Arsene Wenger‘s Arsenal leading the Premier League, which could mean the type of fiery encounter that occurred in the early 2000s between the two clubs.
I am not saying that there needs to be that on the edge aggression that we saw from United back in those days. But United needs to show some fight, some urgency and bring a real thumping spirit back to club to kick start their campaign.
It is really the perfect time. The performances of late have improved slightly, things seem to be clicking for the first time under Moyes; it all seems smoother. But the commitment from the players needs to be evident on Sunday. Almost the entire squad has failed to show their best so far this season. The likes of Wayne Rooney, Michael Carrick and Patrice Evra are the type of characters who need to take the game to Arsenal. We’ve seen United do it so many times in the past, where they recognize the importance of a fixture and raise their game, such as beating Roma 7-1 in 2007, ending Arsenal‘s unbeaten run in 2004 and that relentless 8-2 thrashing they showed Arsenal in 2011.
I don’t expect a high-scoring game, but the fight, tempo and concentration needs to be there for United. They haven’t shown that under Moyes so far, of course it is Moyes job to orchestrate that but the players are the ones who must be in the right frame of mind to pull it off. Old Trafford and the players tend to work with one another when the players perform, as does the crowd, which just lifts the whole game. Arsenal is in sensational form; they’re looking special. But although for Wenger this return of a winning mentality is important, a big game performance from United is vital at this point in Moyes’ reign.
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