EPL: United must finish in top four

EPL: United must finish in top four
Former Red Devils star Kanchelskis says that's the target for Moyes this season, but he must go if he fails to win title next term.

He was part of the Manchester United team that became the first side to lift the English Premier League title in the 1992/93 season. Russia's flying winger Andrei Kanchelskis (above) and the rest of the Red Devils had already suffered the anguish of losing the old Division 1 crown to Leeds United at the death in the previous league campaign.

Few thought Sir Alex Ferguson's men could recover so quickly after going so close, but the Manchester giants were magnificent as they ended a 26-year run without the league title when they once again became champions of England the following season.

Kanchelskis is familiar with both agony and ecstasy after his time at the Theatre of Dreams.

While Old Trafford has turned into a house of horrors under Ferguson's successor David Moyes, the former United star believes the new manager needs a season to bed in.

Speaking to The New Paper yesterday, Kanchelskis said: "This season, United will definitely not win the title, but Moyes needs to make sure that the club finish in the top four - it's very important for the club.

"The fans are angry, but it's not possible for a new coach to come in and get results just like that.

"Before, Man United always attacked. Now with Moyes, they defend and counter-attack. This is a problem because there needs to be a change in mindset of the players, and that takes time.

"It's a new coach, new vision, with different tactics. It takes a while for the players to change their mindsets and adapt to the new tactics."

Assistant manager at Russian Premier League side Volga Nizhny Novgorod, Kanchelskis is in Singapore for a week's holiday in the sunshine as football back home enjoys a three-month winter break.

SPIRIT

Speaking from the offices of Dentsu Sports Asia, where he had also scheduled a meeting yesterday, Kanchelskis felt Moyes and United would need the same kind of spirit displayed by the class that finally reached the mountain-top in the Premiership's first year.

"Sir Alex Ferguson is a big name, a big coach, and there's big pressure on David Moyes to win every game as the new Manchester United manager," said the 44-year-old.

"Now is a difficult time for Moyes, but what's important is his second season at the club - if next season he does not win the league, then it's better that the club make changes. But at the moment, they need to wait."

Struggling in defence with the ageing duo of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, lacking bite in the midfield, and with wide players - with the exception of Adnan Januzaj - either completely out of form or toothless, Kanchelskis believes United need reinforcements during this month's transfer window to bolster their push for a top-four finish.

"I think a couple of players are needed - a forward, one good centre-midfielder, and good wingers," said the man, who also donned the colours of Everton and Glasgow Rangers.

While Manchester City and Chelsea have big and talented squads and Liverpool are propelled by one of football's hottest properties in Luis Suarez, Kanchelskis tips Arsenal to come out on top this season.

"Arsene Wenger has been there since 1996, and there is a lot of stability in the club and in the way they play," he said. "With the changes at the other clubs (and their respective inconsistent performances), I think Arsenal have a good chance to win the title." Kanchelskis will leave tomorrow, but the Russian may return to the Lion City again.

"Moscow is really cold now and I'm in Singapore for a week to visit friends for a holiday in the sunshine. I like the spicy food here, and the people are friendly and always smiling," he said.

"I'd like to come back and maybe watch a game in the local league here."

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