David Moyes needs his Manchester United team to start playing for him, but the problem is the majority of the players have no natural need to do so.
Moyes is struggling, and United is struggling. They need some new quality; we all know that by now, but this is a deeper problem that just that. There is a combination of factors making them look like an average outfit currently, but one for me is obvious.
The majority of that squad has nothing to give back to Moyes. The pressure can be heaped on him, and they are likely to agree with the media’s criticism.
Adnan Januzaj is the only man currently in the United squad who has something to owe to Moyes. He gave him a debut and a run of games plus support that has helped ignite his senior career. But for the rest, what do they have to give in terms of commitment?
They’re experiencing a switch from absolute trust in Sir Alex Ferguson to an unproven manager at the highest level struggling. They have the reputation of the fans, themselves and the club itself to play for, but with the manager being such a major factor in club football it is undeniably a contributing reason for their lack of success this season.
Former United defender Phil Neville was brought in as a part of Moyes’ coaching, and ex faces like these mean there is a character in the camp who the players don’t want to let down. But you can’t help but feel that someone who has been at the club and with the squad more recently would have a bigger effect.
You would imagine Gary Neville, a much more outspoken character, would have been a better fit. I actually see him returning as a coach to United within the next year or so after his England coaching duties have been fulfilled.
United’s players — the younger ones especially — would likely feel the a positive pressure to play for these ex United legends.
Over time the United players will form relations with Moyes and his staff that will mean they begin to have something to give back to the manager. The likes of Januzaj, Darren Fletcher and Danny Welbeck are the only ones currently who seem to be responding to the trust given to them by Moyes. The decision to get rid of Ferguson’s entire coaching team is certainly looking costly in the present, but in the future the new United era may benefit from the new camaraderie to be made.