The contrast between Manchester United's form in the league and Europe is a stark one.
It must be really confusing for Manchester United fans this season, the satisfaction of performing so well in the Champions League group stages so far this season meaning they have qualified for the knock-out stages of the competition with a game to spare running parallel to their domestic season with sees them sit 13 points behind Arsenal.
And in all honesty, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of difference between the style of football played domestically and in Europe. Does David Moyes have the formula to crack Europe but not at home?
Certainly through the group stages of the competition, winning all your home games and not losing your away games will secure qualification more often than not. So far in the competition this season, United have only looked under any real pressure was against Shakhtar Donetsk. Their displays against Bayer Leverkusen have been the most impressive with performances of great energy and ruthlessness which hasn’t been seen in the Premier League.
In Europe to set up not to lose and control games works, but within that setup there isn’t the same desire to really throw players forward which United have done in the past in the league, and had success, hence so many crucial late goals from the side. It could be a simple case of risk and reward which Moyes hasn’t really taken this season – though he says he tried to throw the kitchen sink at Newcastle.
There is the other thought that Moyes has changed the side a great deal at times. It may be a case of keeping the squad fresh but sometimes not altering the side as much could be for the benefit of the side in order for them to try and gain some consistency.
He may need to take the game to the opposition more domestically, especially given the three home defeats so far in the league this season, the fear factor appears to have evaporated from Old Trafford there was under Sir Alex Ferguson.
Maybe Moyes needs to roll the dice a lot more in the league this season, in order to save it their Premier League season from complete disappointment and regain that fear factor rather than sides going to Old Trafford thinking they are there for the taking.
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