Why United remain England's team to beat ...
Moyes picked up his first league win as United boss against Crystal Palace on Saturday.
September 16th, 2013
12:33 PM ET

Why United remain England's team to beat ...

His detractors likely won't want to hear this but reports of David Moyes' Old Trafford demise are extremely premature. In fact, those expecting the Scot to fall flat on his face while occupying arguably one of the biggest jobs in club football are in for a rather long wait!

On Saturday I watched first hand as the reigning English Premier League champions recorded their first home league win – a 2-0 victory over newly promoted Crystal Palace – under their new head coach. It wasn't pretty but it didn't need to be.

As the legendary Alex Ferguson himself looked on from the Directors' box, Moyes spoke of his "relief" that three points had been secured with relative ease. He was also presumably very happy indeed to move on from the ridiculous over-reaction to his team's first and only defeat of the new season so far, a narrow one-nil reversal at arch -rival Liverpool.

Like his predecessor – Moyes clearly thrives on pressure and the "siege mentality" Ferguson so often spoke about will also be a big factor during the former Everton boss' tenure. Moyes has already proved he's very much his own man. He didn't cave in when some sections of the British media clamored for him to sell Wayne Rooney to Chelsea.

He stood his ground, didn't budge and the Englishman stayed put. Now United may or may not have missed out on certain other transfer window targets but this for me was the smartest "signing" of them all. For the Champions to keep one of their biggest names out of the clutches of their London rivals was huge and the manager must take immense credit for that.

For some his purchase of Belgium midfielder Marouane Fellaini was a panic buy, a player that was deemed to be not the one they needed. But the tall 25-year-old with the fuzzy hairdo was Moyes' stated pre – season target all along.

Yes, United still need a fair slice of creative flair to enhance their midfield but they also needed an "enforcer". Someone who'll get stuck in, run until he drops and with a proven eye for goal. Now they have that. And judging by the amount of wigs on show both inside and outside the crowd on match, day he's already proving one hugely popular signing with the Red Devils faithful.

Make no mistake Moyes will be given time to succeed, both he and United are in it together for the long haul. Why else would the Old Trafford hierarchy entrust him with a whopping six-year deal? Don't forget higher- profile names than he wanted the job but it was the then Toffees' boss who was hand- picked by Ferguson. And how often was his judgement for potential proved wrong?

I fully expect Moyes to add to the Community Shield he's already bagged this season. United are the most successful club in English FA Cup history but haven't won it in almost ten long years.

They're desperate to change that and it wouldn't surprise me one little bit if he delivers that too in his first season in charge. A good showing in the Europe will be expected as well but I believe it's the Premier league that remains the club's absolute priority. I won't jinx him by stating here and now United will retain their title this season but the Reds remain the team to beat, Fergie or no Fergie.

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soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Andrew B

    Moyes is the man long-term but not sure of a title this season. Small period of transition likely!

    September 16, 2013 at 3:08 pm | Reply
  2. Ayandi

    to an extent i do agree...Manchester United is still the team to beat...Mourinho knows that, so do all other 19 clubs in this season's premier league...we go to Etihad stadium this sunday on a high...the blue side of Manchester United have the scale of pressure on them...we be playing good...we getting better by each game, thats for sure.

    September 16, 2013 at 4:27 pm | Reply
  3. dojob

    The fact of the matter is that United has admitted to making bid for only 2 players so far this season,Fabregas and Baines. Alcantara has admitted that United never approach him(fact)All this talk about Contreao,Herrera,Bale bid for higher than 85 mil?! is just that.talk.The media has put a very negative spin on United this season to the point that I myself feel embarassed at united's failure to capture the rumoured targets( I usually don't pay much attention to these rumours)Whatever it is,the window is closed,Fellaini is bought.RVP still looks pretty damn good,Rooney is still here,De Gea is proving to be the top keeper everyone said he will turn out be,Zaha and Janujaz are very exciting young talent and we haven't even seen Kagawa who is predicted to excel this season in action.Let's enjoy the ride shall we?Haters and fans alike

    September 16, 2013 at 4:39 pm | Reply
    • Amit

      Brilliantly put! United have still got the flair we need. It's a transition phase after 20+ years under Sir Alex. It will definitely take time. And from what i have seen so far, we have not really performed badly. We have made chances, have the ability. Against Liverpool, apart form the 4th min header goal, there wasn't much going against us and the second half had its own set of good moments. Against Chelsea, we started and ended against a team that was on field to play defensive. Still we managed to penetrate the 9 to 10 man wall though we failed to score. not to forget the 4-1 victory over Swansea and the 2-0 against Wigan along with 2-0 against Crystal Palace. Liverpool looked very weak against the Swansea side in the second half. The season has just begun, in fact the whole year for us is a new one after the long reign of Sir Alex. We miss him now and always, but Moyes has been strong and we have some pretty amazing talent in our hand!

      September 17, 2013 at 5:03 am | Reply
  4. Balotoli

    no player wants to join united cause living in england is pretty hard the cold the food and the unfriendly enivorment as teves sayed
    the tax which is the highest on football 45% plus you cant compare united to the giants bayren barcelona and madrid

    September 16, 2013 at 8:59 pm | Reply
  5. Nah


    Don't really have a dog in the fight either way, but while Chelsea has struggled, at least you can see signs of quality in their performances. United have looked really poor, even when they win. It's definitely a big step back from where they've been in past years under Ferguson.

    September 17, 2013 at 3:20 am | Reply
    • zugwai katung


      September 17, 2013 at 2:30 pm | Reply
  6. frankieeeee

    United likely to push hard for title – yes. still have top players. MOYES Needs a major trophy in his first season

    September 17, 2013 at 12:20 pm | Reply
  7. Kesto

    Man utd will always be a team to beat cos it's in their DNA to go for wins till the very end.Thats the tradition and no one can change that die hard attitude which have been fetching them titles.

    September 17, 2013 at 1:40 pm | Reply
  8. Chibunna

    Had the league ended Sunday Sept. 15, Arsenal would have won the TITLE.

    September 17, 2013 at 4:26 pm | Reply
  9. Vanuseelan

    Love the article honestly believe it is the right approach to give Moyes some time.
    Dont think we will be as successful as the article hopes in the first season but some of the other comments on here I have to wonder where they even come from
    – No one was comparing united to Barcelona or Real.
    – The same team whose quality has dropped since 2009 has still been winning the premier league.
    – You should expect a step back after 20+ years under a legendary manager and yet we have still only lost one match this season.
    – "Arsenal would have won the title" ??? what does that have to do with the price of eggs?
    -Above all else why you can tell united are the team to beat is all other fans still have comments complaints and statments to make about them which means love them or hate them you still fear them on the football pitch.

    By the way this for me was the best comment point raised around the whole Moyes debate I have heard thus far:

    "Don't forget higher- profile names than he wanted the job but it was the then Toffees' boss who was hand- picked by Ferguson. And how often was his judgement for potential proved wrong?"

    September 18, 2013 at 11:31 am | Reply
  10. Tim

    Great article & I agree that Moyles was the best long term appointment. Although I am a huge fan of Jose I didn't think he would offer the lengthy spells we've enjoyed which has helped continue the stability at our club. Moyles possesses similar characteristics of Ferguson...apart from the obvious Scottish background, Moyles has worked his way up the coaching ladder. He is a worker & attention to detail as well as the most important factor – looking at developing & offering youth a chance.

    This is what Manchester United is famous for. Developing great young players & providing a platform for them to play. Moyles will continue on from the Busby Babes & Fergie's Fledglings to Moyles boys'! Everyone talking about big names...come on we won the league last year & our wide men were poor & yes we maybe lacked a creative midfielder. Zaha is an exciting young player & been great to see Valencia start the season more confidently. The young lad Janujaz looks very exciting! I think Fellini will add another dimension to us & Kagawa will feature more.

    Focusing on our young players & developing within please take the following on board...United have named a youth player (home produced player) in every game from October 1937 – that is 3,647 matches in a row! Of the 414 players to feature in the first team since WW2 206 have come through youth system – 50% junior talent! Sir Alex named 118 diiferent youth players in his matchday squads over his 27 seasons...37 became internationals (these facts from 'Sons of United' book & @mrmujac).

    So I think Mr Moyles has had a good start. Charity Shield win (ok I don't class this as a proper trophy but it's nice to win anything you are in & nice for Moyles) but early season form with a few wins in league & important win in Europe. I felt we deserved the win against Chelsea & apart from Liverpool's early goal & pressing we deserved something out the game. Let give DM the time that SAF got.

    Like Patrick Snell I am not going to make statements that we will win the league but 100% agree we're still the team to beat! Jose 2 defeats in a row at Chelsea...think this will take the attention in media now!

    September 18, 2013 at 11:45 pm | Reply
  11. Sally

    Moyes will never be a Fergie but will bring the club more success in seasons to come.

    September 20, 2013 at 2:27 am | Reply
  12. chung

    Moyes has lots to do with Man U, for the legend Fergie. Give him time once he accepted to be the coach of MU from Fergie.

    September 21, 2013 at 1:10 pm | Reply
  13. zallers99

    Reblogged this on zallers99.

    September 24, 2013 at 2:51 pm | Reply
  14. Olubi jasper

    well utd still have time,all that need commitment toward training.

    September 25, 2013 at 11:07 am | Reply
  15. Ahmed Bin Sulayem

    They should have never turned the Manunited Coaching position into a Scottish exclusive club, they had Harry Redknapp available who would have been perfect to take over, now we have to go through the pain watching this new Scott who is not capable & will waste away this season & the next. Until a real management takes over Manunited will not win the league title.

    September 26, 2013 at 2:45 am | Reply
  16. Dr. Cajetan Coelho

    Wishing Man Utd footballers and fans happier times.

    October 6, 2013 at 11:37 am | Reply

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