Is David Moyes holding Manchester United back?

by Omar Soliman

As Thiago Alcantara’s transfer to Bayern Munich was confirmed, there was almost a crushing inevitability to the whole sordid affair. Rumours had suggested that a deal had already been struck with United yet as soon as Pep Guardiola named him as a target you knew the game was up.

Whether United’s interest was indeed as vested as seemingly everyone in the know believes it was then the rejection has, understandably, not been announced.

Looking at the decision objectively, it seems strange that a midfielder who needs playing time would try to slot into one of the strongest midfields in club football.

That is until you include the pulling power of a manager who knows Thiago intimately and the gaping chasm in reputation between Sir Alex Ferguson and David Moyes. Hindsight can be cruel yet with Ferguson seemingly guaranteeing trophies, there stood a better chance of attracting names.

Like a pretty girl in a club being wooed by two men, reputations matter for new suitors. In one corner there is Guardiola – the erudite, handsome and successful playboy, being challenged by Moyes – the promising new virgin in town.

There really is no contest and no matter how gentlemanly you were or how many drinks you bought in the end, it barely matters when public declarations are made.

This all brought a certain song to mind called Bigger Boys & Stolen Sweethearts by Arctic Monkeys. The first verse reads:

‘There’s always somebody taller with more of a wit
And he’s equipped to enthrall her
And her friends think he’s fit
And you just can’t measure up no, you don’t have a prayer
Wishing that you’d made the most of her, when she was there.’

The best players will always have their pick of clubs, managers and contracts. Without the draw of perhaps the greatest club manager in history, this could just be the start of a very tedious few weeks until the season begins.

Talk of a warchest being available is simply just that at the moment. Will United end up with both Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo as some ridiculously optimistic reports suggest? I’ll believe it when I see it.

Until players are signed, there is that underlying worry that the unproven track record of Moyes will hold the club back in the transfer market.

With Ed Woodward as the new executive vice-chairman, the boardroom also has a new look to it. Exciting times yet with the departure of David Gill goes a wealth of knowledge in player recruitment. Apparently the funds are there for a stellar signing but you cannot buy such security of experience or indeed reputations.

There is a belief that with Ferguson at the helm, United had a head-start in the league. That his experience, knowledge and winning mentality would earn ten, even 15 points.

With last season’s top three clubs all bringing in new managers, the league campaign begins on a far more level playing field making player recruitment all the more important.

The Moyes era has begun and with it comes a sense of change and fresh uncertainty. Players can be attracted to projects by the prospect of being part of a new legacy of success thus building up the new manager’s reputation by winning trophies.

Or players can be put off by the prospect of working with a manager who is yet to win a trophy and wonder if he ever will. The pulling power of the manager can make or break a transfer.

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11 comments

Lawrence MALTA 07/26/2013 - 22:59

Sorry my friends but I hoped that David Moyes would be better than what we have seen yet.

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avinal 07/18/2013 - 17:30

I’m a man united fan from South Africa the way your’ll disprespect the new manager or man united is hurtful give the man a chance n not judge him on 1game yes the transfer market is open I don’t know which players he will bring in but what I can say is he will bring out the best from them n he needs time remember fergie took 7yrs to win a league title have faith in our team Man United we’ll be back too our best with time n nt half a season

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cjt 07/18/2013 - 14:28

This is pathetic… The season hasn’t started yet! Stop chatting nonsense just so if it goes wrong you can turn around and say ‘TOLD YOU SO’!!

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Steven Rowe 07/18/2013 - 13:52

I keep forgetting Sir Alex was born an instant success with a track record that attracted all the top players. I keep forgetting also, he wasn’t born a Knight of the Realm for achieving success.

The trouble is, lots of United “fans” aren’t old enough to remember a change in Management and expect continuous success. Sadly some of remember what we went through before you were born.

You obviously know next to nothing about how management works and in particular United.

You don’t get paid for this diatribe do you?

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Steve. 07/18/2013 - 11:56

As the great man said on numerous occasions we do our business early so they can travel on preseason tour.We earmark potential signings at Christmas and then act as soon as possible.This window is totally different and is a worry but then again Ferguson was totally out of order with his shocking handling of Pogba [maybe there was nothing in it for him].

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Adamu 07/18/2013 - 12:58

But that is false. A lot of our biggest stars in the last ten years such as Ronaldo, Rooney, Van Persie, Tevez, Berbatov, Carrick were all signed in August.

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pjch 07/18/2013 - 13:00

And Pogba has been one of many who have crossed Fergie and left.
Now we have the Rooney saga stirred by Fergie at the end of last season.
United need to sign players sooner rather than later or even Moyes going out and saying he will give the likes of Januzaj playing time- hope he doesn’t get disillusioned if he doesn’t get playing time and decides to leave

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Dromarared 07/18/2013 - 11:52

Not signing Thiago is good. Firstly because he will get a wee bit of experience and go back to Barcelona very quickly. Secondly what does signing a young midfielder say to the likes of Januzaj. We need an experienced creative midfielder who will bring on the likes of Januzaj and stay until he is ready. Januzaj is one of the best prospects we have had in a very long time, it would be nice to keep him. Is Moyes holding us back? Who knows but i do remember Fergie losing the odd so called target – Ronaldinho anyone? You sound like someone who has supported United for a short time and does not fully remember the pre-fergie days. Chill! it may take a couple of years but we will be back

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samp 07/18/2013 - 11:54

Omar isn’t harking gloom and doom, merely just offering an alternate thought process. I don’t personally think he’ll hold us back but from a players point of view, moving to United this season is a risk where it wasn’t before.

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OJM 07/18/2013 - 11:38

Oh, for god’s sake… Just shut up.

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Quis 07/21/2013 - 19:04

Hear hear… how did a liverpool fan get to write articles here?

Beside the point that Man United never submitted a bid for Alcantara, it was all tabloid hype.

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