Manchester United manager David Moyes wants more from his midfield…
The Scot has endured a tough start to his career at Old Trafford this term. A number of first team players who had performed admirably under Sir Alex Ferguson have been disappointing this season under the new boss, who has also had a number of injuries to his key players to deal with.
Ahead of the Manchester derby, the boss compared his own team with Manchester City and pinpointed the goals from midfield as an area where United can improve.
"They [City] have goal scoring midfield players and it’s important to have goal scorers all over the field," Moyes explained.
“That contributes a lot to your goals. But we’ve got good midfielders. We still think Marouane Fellaini can get goals and he was unlucky on Saturday against West Ham.”
It’s clear that Fellaini has been suffering a confidence crisis and subsequent lack of form since moving to Old Trafford, but there is a reason the Red Devils spent £27.5million to bring him in; he does have immense talent proven by his 12 goals in all competitions last term under Moyes at Goodison Park.
However, the responsibility to score goals was spread around the team last term. United had Robin van Persie, who finished out the season as the winner of the Golden Boot, but no less than 18 other players scored at least one goal.
United's defenders scored 14 goals between them, the midfield and wide players scored 17 goals in all and the forwards (Van Persie, Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez) scored 47 goals between them in the Premier League.
This term those same forwards have scored 35 goals after 30 games played. In midfield the difference is telling – United’s midfielders and wide players have managed just 9 goals this season. That’s 0.3 goals per game between them compared to 0.44 last season despite the fact Moyes has brought in Fellaini and Juan Mata for huge fees and Adnan Januzaj has broken into the team.
The burden for the forwards to score goals is increased this term by the lack of threat from the midfield, but there is no doubt the new signings and the players who were there already are capable goal scorers. They must improve their tallies next term, regardless of how much the club spends to bring in reinforcements.