For the first time since 1986, United has a new manager at the helm. The biggest challenge for them this year will be how David Moyes manages to fill the void left by his predecessor, Sir Alex Ferguson.
Much of the transfer window involved speculation with big name players. Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Cesc Fabregas, Robert Lewandowski, Ander Herrera, Fabio Coentrao and Leighton Baines were all linked with the Red Devils, but in the end the only signing was Marouane Fellaini.
At Everton, Moyes played Fellaini in the hole behind the lone striker and the success he achieved in that tactic would point to him deploying the same tactic at United. However, this does further raise the question of Wayne Rooney. The England striker was linked with competing clubs throughout the transfer window and in the end no move materialised. While Fellaini is a very good player, he is no Rooney and does not offer the same all-round game that embodies a United player. But, £27.5 million is far too much money to spend on a recent acquisition only for him to warm the bench.
This is what I think United’s best starting XI would look like:
Under Ferguson, United always had a powerful squad. Their strength in-depth was key to their success over the years. I can only see Fellaini being used in central midfield. Indeed the biggest loss to the squad was the (second) retirement of Paul Scholes. I believe in like-for-like replacements in order to develop a strong squad. Fellaini is a very different player to Scholes though. He provides more physicality to the United midfield and will therefore give them something different. United could suffer by not finding an adequate replacement for their midfield general.
United have had a tough start to the season. After their impressive first round win against Swansea in Wales, they drew at home to Chelsea and lost away to Liverpool. They were not penetrative enough in both games against their rivals and failed to score for consecutive matches, a statistic one does not usually associate United with.
Although, their squad has remained very similar, the losses of both Ferguson and Scholes have resulted in many United fans questioning what is going on at their club for the first time in many, many years. I believe that if United manage to keep up with the other title challengers up until at least March then the season would be a success for Moyes. He is a very good manager but I don’t think anyone could ever meet up to the expectations of the United fans especially after their dominance in the premier league era.
Feel free to comment on this post. Whether you agree or disagree, this is all for the love of the game and for the fans.