The reasons behind David Moyes’ sacking at Manchester United will be debated over the rest of the season until the club appoints a successor.
He struggled following that first win away at Swansea City, losing big matches on big occasions that saw United slide down to seventh in the Premier League title after winning the league last season.
Could the main reason for Moyes’ sacking be one of the most simple and purely the idea that he didn’t know what his best side was.
It’s normal for any manager to struggle to work out his best side over the first few weeks of the season but debatable tactics and team selection have been common with Moyes this past year.
Moyes continued the Sir Alex Ferguson them of playing Shinji Kagawa down the left hand side when the Japanese star was crying out to play in the middle.
He also spent big money to sign Juan Mata from Chelsea before playing the Spaniard initially down the right hand side in place of Antonio Valencia.
He also had to toy with the combination of the club’s best central defenders to use through the spine of the side, finding it difficult to judge when to play Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic together and when to invest game time in the likes of Phil Jones, Jonny Evans and Chris Smalling.
Perhaps the biggest team selection issue that Moyes never got to grips with was what he did with United’s central midfield.
David Moyes picked 51 different starting XIs in 51 games as manager of Manchester United. #MUFC— Purely Football (@PurelyFootball) April 22, 2014
He made two signings in that position (Marouane Fellaini and Mata) but United seemed to have the same problem regardless of the fortune invested in the duo.
It was only the injury to Robin Van Persie which allowed Mata to move into a central role where he’s more effective but Fellaini has looked lost since day one.
The Belgian was a driving force in Moyes’ Everton side, bursting forward with energy and pace but he struggled in a midfield system which wasn’t based entirely around his best qualities.
United will move on, as will Moyes, but the Scot’s inability to find his best side has unfortunately prevented him from developing any legacy while in charge at Old Trafford.