David Moyes has not enjoyed the best of starts since swapping Merseyside for Manchester, with the 50-year-old finding it hard to watch parts of Sunday’s derby as City wiped the floor with the Red Devils.
"I've made the players aware of how I expect them to respond," said Moyes after the match. "If there was any group of players I would expect that from it would be Manchester United players. It is the way they have been brought up."
Yes David, but they have also been brought up not to lose derbies by serving up such a gutless display. In Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, Patrice Evra and Wayne Rooney, there were plenty of leaders in the United team at the Etihad Stadium, although it didn’t stop the champions being steamrollered by their arch-rivals.
Manchester United’s title odds are on the drift
It’s still early days in the season and United have admittedly had a tough opening set of fixtures, travelling to the Etihad and Anfield, while Chelsea have also visited Old Trafford. Moyes had made his feelings clear about this difficult start, although the positive spin might have been this afforded the Red Devils a chance to bloody the nose of their title rivals.
Instead, United face West Brom this weekend sitting five points behind the two north London clubs and the bookies are now happy to offer odds of 9/2 about the champions retaining their title, a marginally shorter price than the 6/1 about Arsenal winning the league.
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Will Moyes pay the price for failing to attract new signings?
Marouane Fellaini arrived from Everton for an inflated price on transfer deadline day, although there is a long list of players who weren’t lured to Old Trafford during the summer. It has just emerged that Gareth Bale was the subject of a bid, while Cesc Fabregas, Sami Khedira, Thiago Alcantara, Ander Herrera, Daniel De Rossi, Leighton Baines and Mesut Ozil all slipped through the fingers of Manchester United by either moving to another club or staying put.
Perhaps the blame for this transfer disaster only lies partly with Moyes although it’s hard to remember Sir Alex Ferguson having such a frustrating time of things in the transfer market, while the signing of Fellaini was very much a case of settling for second best considering some of the other names on the list.
Keeping Wayne Rooney was a big plus but when you compare the lack of spending at Old Trafford compared to title rivals City and Chelsea, there is frankly no comparison and Tottenham’s investment of over £100million on quality signings also shows up the champions.
While the bookies make United massively odds-on to claim a top four spot in the Premier League this season and it’s true that the Red Devils now have a run of winnable games, a place in next season’s Champions League looks far from guaranteed this term based on the opening performances. There are also five other clubs whose basic aim is to finish fourth or higher this season.
Matthew Glazier is the Managing Director of www.bettingpro.com, an award-winning sports, news and betting website.
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