Even after being personally requested by Ferguson to succeed him, questions about Moyes’ top level capability and lack of Champions League experience dogged him even before pre-season with the general consensus being that he was probably out of his depth!
Moyes’ first major test was to convince striker Wayne Rooney that this was a project worth staying for, as previously there had been rumblings of discontent and a desire for the player to leave.
Fortunately such is the nature of the player that not only has his performance impressed supporters this season but he is also currently United’s top scorer finding the back of the net nine times.
United officially began their season positively, winning the Community Shield against Wigan. Notably they went on to secure a draw against newly appointed Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea but lost 1-0 to Liverpool at Anfield. Unfortunately the worst was still to come as the Red Devils suffered their heaviest defeat this season against arch-rivals Manchester City losing 4-1 at the Etihad.
Although the Red Devils haven’t run away with games like they used to and Old Trafford isn’t the fortress it once was, their form hasn’t been shocking, winning nine games from 18 which is only three wins less than current leaders Arsenal. United have won their last three Premier League matches and will be hoping to continue this run into the new year.
The Red Devils are mostly under pressure due to their low mid-season table position, they are currently in sixth which is unusual for this stage of the season, but it must be taken into consideration that this season has a higher number of teams vying for a top four finish and unfortunately with United’s lack of consistency they have fallen behind.
Although life in the Premier League has been tough, a cause for celebration has been their Champions League qualification. United topped their group so will now meet lower seeded club Olympiacos in the next round making progression more attainable and will of course give Moyes some more much needed experience of the highs and lows to be found in this highly respected competition.
United are still playing in all four competitions and will no doubt be looking at signing some reinforcements when the January transfer window opens with an eye on strengthening midfield and defence as key injuries have plagued the squad recently resulting in constant player shuffling.
Most supporters would agree that United have much to be proud of and despite the criticisms have gotten themselves back into a position where they can fight to retain the title. United’s first three Premier League games of 2014 will be against Tottenham, Swansea and Chelsea.
What will the second half of the season hold for United? Let us know your thoughts below or tweet us @LaFootyettes.