David Moyes has hinted that the failure to strengthen last summer has come back to haunt them.
Manchester United boss David Moyes made a startling admission in his weekly press conference.
Quizzed why the Red Devils were a staggering 21 points worse off than United were at this stage last season, he blamed both everybody else and looked inwardly at the same time.
He responded, as quoted by The Guardian:
"The improvement in the teams in the Premier League has been big."
"There have been a lot of improvements from sides in the Premier League and obviously we've not done as well."
The first part of his response is a bit of a cop out, blaming other sides' progression for his own team's failings is a convenient excuse which glosses over poor tactics and woeful performances from the players.
Of their rivals, Arsenal had a poor summer window until spectacularly rescuing it by signing Mesut Ozil. His arrival, despite his recent dip in form, was enough to propel the Gunners to a good start of which they have been able to maintain.
Liverpool strengthened their back line, but did not bring in any marquee signings in the summer or January, despite a want of trying.
Chelsea spent millions on the likes of Andre Schurrle, Willian and Nemanja Matic, who have had varying degrees of success, but there's no arguing they have improved.
Manchester City spent big on Fernandinho and Alvaro Negredo, yet still have a defensive frailty at centre-back if Vincent Kompany goes down injured. There were improvements, but the biggest change came in the form of a manager who has reinvigorated the players with a fresh tactical approach.
At United, it's been the opposite with murmurings of discontent from various, and senior players; he upset Evra from day one via his public pursuit of Leighton Baines for instance.
Moyes, it should not be forgotten inherited a title winning squad, despite it's flaws. They set their heights too high in the summer with pursuits of Gareth Bale and Cesc Fabregas, and had to make do with over-paying for Marouane Fellaini on deadline day.
Moyes may be right, that the failure to strengthen then is coming back to haunt them. Nobody could argue the club don't need a new central midfielder or two, and a centre-back, not to mention possibles over new wingers and full-backs too.
Yet to blame United's shortcomings on purely others improving, and United not - along with Moyes' token excuse of being unlucky, may not be exactly what fans want to hear.
image: © Jon Candy