Ahead of Manchester United's visit of the Donbass Arena on Wednesday evening for the second round of group games in the Champions League, Shakhtar Donetsk manager Mircea Lucescu believes that David Moyes' constant tinkering of his first team affects the way the players link together from game to game and, should he decide upon a primary selection and stick to it, then he may see the club's results improve.
'We have analysed the United games and of course we noticed there are always changes in the squad, maybe four or five players [per game],' Lucescu is quoted to have said at the pre-match press conference. 'This rotation means the links between the players can be affected and I think turnover can cause a lot of problems sometimes. We have also discovered that here [in Ukraine].'
Lucescu's observation about player selection is correct. Of the 11 who began United's most recent match versus West Bromwich Albion there were eight who made the first-team for the game prior, against Liverpool. The amount of changes made between the win over the Reds and the previous match, the loss to rivals Manchester City, meanwhile, was an astonishing eight.
'The other big teams in the English championship, such as Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal, are not rotating the team as much as United and maybe that is a factor,' Lucescu added, noting the storming start to the Premier League campaign enjoyed by Brendan Rodgers and Arsene Wenger.
Lucescu, though, did give Moyes a vote of confidence, claiming that any time a manager changes clubs there is often a period of turbulence but the 50-year-old showed his class during his long reign at Everton. Lucescu was keen to stress, however, that he wishes Moyes luck only after their game tomorrow, not before.
'There will always be a change of philosophy under a new coach and every coach needs time to work in a proper way. This is why David Moyes is facing difficulties at this stage. We know the work of Mr Moyes from Everton, though, and he is one of the strongest coaches in the Premier League. He needs some time to work with his players and let’s hope the team finds a good pattern after tomorrow night.'
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