Man United: Moyes Must Bring In New Signings Or Fans' Patience Will Run Out
A few months ago I wrote a blog that asked the question 'When does a blip become a crisis?' It was penned in the wake of Manchester United's humiliating 4-1 defeat at the hands of their city rivals, and concluded with me suggesting that most crises are usually driven largely by the media.
That was then.
At the time, I was still writing with United's brisk jaunt to a twentieth league title a few months previously fresh in my mind. Yes, we had a new manager and yes, that new manager had experienced a difficult start to the season, but it was hard to believe, on that sunny, autumnal afternoon, that the same players that had been crowned champions last term, wouldn't respond like champions to such an embarrassing display.
Alas, I was viewing our troubles through the frame of reference I had grown accustomed to during the Ferguson era. After all, Sir Alex himself had overseen an even bigger drubbing by the noisy neighbours just a couple of seasons before. He had also had his fair share of tricky periods, the back to back heavy defeats to Newcastle United and Southampton in 1996 a famous example.
Thus, with the defeat to City came the United fans' default cry of "Crisis? What crisis?" as we awaited the ruthless retaliation of the wounded beast that we had grown so accustomed to while the fury of Ferguson had fuelled their fires.
As I said, that was then. What a difference a few months make. Now, after yet another miserable, whimpering 2-1 home defeat to Swansea, this time in the FA Cup, that left Old Trafford looking more like a comedy store than a colosseum, it is becoming increasingly difficult for us to shrug off suggestions of our club being in anything other than a crisis.
It certainly felt that way on Sunday, as Swansea, also a team struggling to hit the heights of last season, became the fifth team to beat us in our own home this season. What was more concerning was that they did so, like others before them, with relative ease and little in the way of resistance on our part.
As the camera stalked David Moyes down the touchline at the final whistle, the ludicrous 'Chosen One' banner looking down on him, almost mockingly, from the Stretford End, it would have taken a heart of flint not to have felt a pang of sympathy for a man who has the bewildered look of an actor, given the opportunity to play the role of his life, forgetting his lines at the crucial moment, left to stare blankly from the stage at the expectant crowd.
We can only hope that he erupted into a rage upon entering the changing room, laying into his players with the kind of fiery venom for which his predecessor was renowned, and that such a toothless performance, coming as it did at the beginning of a transfer window, could serve as a catalyst for change. Perhaps David Moyes hit his rock bottom as he stood on the sidelines surveying his new kingdom as it crumbled around his feet.
He had stated before the match that there would likely be no new signings this month, though we are told there are funds available should he wish to spend them. It would seem diabolically cruel not to give him the time and money to put things right, and the majority of United fans remain willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, though for how long depends entirely on whether he can arrest this alarming run of form, particularly at home.
Rome wasn't built in a day. No great empire is. Yet empires are quicker to fall than they are to build and, without a dramatic upturn in form, we are in danger of witnessing one of British football's great dynasties being razed to the ground before our eyes.
It is stating the blindingly obvious to say that a win tonight, against Sunderland, is imperative.
What Manchester United fans are also hoping though, is that their new manager was lying to them about prospective transfer dealings this month. What we are longing for is to see David Moyes' famous scouting network bear fruit for us now.
With that, along with the return from injury of some of our brightest stars, the baying hordes laying siege to Old Trafford's walls could still be repelled, and success be snapped from the jaws of disaster.
Without it, people's patience may quickly begin to run thin.
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