Manchester United’s manager David Moyes can’t be faulted for trying.
Scottish managers have a tendency to persevere and it appears that David Moyes is no different – demonstrated perfectly during Man Utd’s 2-2 draw with Fulham.
The Red Devils greeted the Old Trafford pitch with one game plan in mind – attack down the wings, hit the by-line and cross the ball. And if that fails, cross the ball again.
Manchester United became the first team since the 2006/7 season to notch up an astonishing 82 crosses throughout the game – one cross every 66 seconds.
The sheer number of crosses and their success can be seen here:
David Moyes’ instructions seemed quite bizarre bearing in mind the likes of Robin Van Persie, Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata are predominantly at their best through the middle. Yet, even more surprising considering Fulham’s central defender Daniel Burn is a whopping 6ft 7in.
The young defender took a total of 33 touches throughout the 90 minutes – and 22 of those were first time clearances from an unsuccessful Manchester United cross.
The hosts finally managed to finally break Fulham’s resilience and were then minutes away from claiming a much-needed three points following Carrick’s deflected strike. However, Fulham showed heart and took advantage of Man Utd’s wastefulness to rescue a point in stoppage time thanks to Darren Bent – who additionally managed to set his own personal record as the only visiting player to score four times at Old Trafford.
Another two points dropped had its repercussions for David Moyes and his team, both in the Premier League table and the history books.
Manchester United set another unwanted record as their current total of 41 points after 25 Premier League matches is their lowest tally at this stage in Premier League history.
David Moyes probably feels the world is against him at the moment. Whether it’s down to bad luck or poor tactics is for the fans to judge, but the reality is that those nine points separating United from fourth placed Liverpool is starting to resemble a gap too far to bridge.