You shouldn’t judge a game by its first few seconds
I’m not one for making predictions when it comes to football, in fact I’m strongly superstitious and worry that any prediction I do make, would lead to a negative outcome, especially when it comes to United results. Still, ever since the appointment of David Moyes as the new United manager, I have predicted that he will be a success at the club. Some might put it down to blind faith; suggest that those of us that believe in, rather than hope for, David Moyes are being blindly optimistic. That we believe he’ll do well, just because Sir Alex thought he was the one to take us on when he called it a day. That might be the case for some, but if anything, surely Sir Alex has proven that he deserves our trust; he knows the club and the team better than any of us ever could. However, for me, it is not necessarily about what Fergie said, or optimism, it’s about my gut feeling. And that feeling is, and has been for years, that when the time came, David Moyes should be our new manager.
Some might say that United’s result against Swansea is an indication of what’s to come under Moyes’ reign. Despite my faith in the man, I would respectfully disagree with that statement. You see, Rome wasn’t built in a day, nor is any football team, even when a majority of the building blocks have already been supplied. Don’t get me wrong, I think Manchester United will win the league this season. I also think we will have a decent run in Europe, and I am rather hopeful about the domestic cups, especially the FA Cup. But that’s really not that different from any other season, I always have high hopes for the club, and I always believe that they have the ability to achieve anything. I’m a football fan, without belief in my club, what would I have? That said, I haven’t always been proven right in my beliefs. You win some, you lose some, that’s life, football or otherwise, and in football these days, too much is judged on the one you lose, be it a competition or simply a game or two.
Returning to my earlier point, I don’t think that our result against Swansea is an indication of what’s to come, obviously not because I don’t think Moyes can go on to achieve more results like it, but because anyone would be stupid to think that anything could be judged on the back of ninety minutes. Football is a game of two halves true, but those two halves aren’t necessarily the 2×45 minutes played on Saturday/Sunday afternoon (or Monday or a midweek evening, you know what I mean). We’ve barely watched a few seconds of the first half, and we would be nothing short of daft making assumptions of what’s to come. I suspect that there will be bad results on the horizon, some games won’t go our way; those games come along every season. I also suspect that a lot more will be made of those results than the good ones. One of my favourite terms in regards to football fans, is that they are a fickle bunch. And they truly are. A good result will be celebrated for hours, a bad result mourned and picked to pieces for days. I would go so far as to suspect that when those results come along, a majority of the blame will be put on the manager, and people will resurrect any complaints (assuming they ever let them lay) about who was chosen as our new manager, because had we chosen Jose Mourinho (the classless one) or Pep Guardiola (the submissive one) we would have gone on to be invincible forever, winning everything from the League Cup to the World Cup (and I mean the actual FIFA World Cup for nations).
Moyes doesn’t face the challenges that Sir Alex Ferguson did when he came to United. Sir Alex had to build a team, deal with drunkenness, and install structure that had been lacking, and he has left the club in a much better state than that in which he found it. Moyes’ biggest early challenges seemingly will be attempting to “fix” the Wayne Rooney situation along with and the gap in our midfield. His dealing of, or failure to deal with in the minds of some, the above issues has already left the new manager open to criticism, some seemingly forgetting that the issues were there before he arrived at the club, and we managed. We won the Premier League last season, there haven’t been many (if any) really major signings at any other clubs either, and it’s not like we haven’t been trying. All aspects of the game are dependent on tactics off and on the pitch, and this summer we’ve seen some tactics that may not be what we are most used to. Different isn’t always bad, it is just that tactically they’re not going to win you every game. More than anything it is not enough to judge the manager on, there’s more to football these days than what happens during a game, but you still have to judge a manager by what his team achieves. The important bit was, is and always will be getting those three points. And of course that is what Moyes should be judged on in the coming months and even years, his ability to obtain those three points.
Like I have already mentioned, there will be bad results as well as good, and how the manager and the squad responds will be key to moving forward from those results, although I strongly suspect that the good will by far outweigh the bad. I just hope that when those bad results come along, fans remember that they should be as reluctant to dismiss the manager then as they may have been to accept him after the first few good results and judge the man on the end results. Personally, I believe we will see David Moyes lift the Premier League title, perhaps not this season but soon. In the meanwhile, hold off your judgement, one way or another, at least till the end of Moyes’ first half.