Football: Moyes living up to lowered expectations

Football: Moyes living up to lowered expectations
Manchester United's manager David Moyes

LONDON - In terms of managing expectations, David Moyes has done a splendid job so far at Manchester United.

Raising them might prove tougher though as United's worst start to a season since the early days of his predecessor Alex Ferguson in 1989 has left them down in 12th place in the Premier League after six games.

Replacing Ferguson always looked like being a tough task for the former Everton manager, especially when all the main title challengers invested heavily in new players during the off-season while United stood still.

The Reds made only one addition for the new season and Marouane Fellaini, whom Moyes signed from Everton on deadline day, did not even start in the 2-1 defeat by West Bromwich Albion on Saturday, with Moyes opting instead for Brazilian Anderson - a player who rarely got a look-in during Ferguson's latter years.

Even before a ball was kicked in the Premier League, Moyes was bemoaning a tough-looking fixture list which has seen United play Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool already.

That seemed to set the tone and after three defeats in their opening six matches fans are scratching their heads in bewilderment at their team's sudden fall from grace.

Rather than rant and rave about the shortcomings of his team, Moyes has remained calm and refreshingly honest but accepting second best is an alien concept at Old Trafford.

Moyes admitted Manchester City were "stronger and quicker"than his side after a 4-1 derby loss last week and, following a first home loss to West Bromwich Albion for nearly 35 years, Moyes simply said: "We are just not playing well...we were lacklustre in nearly all areas."

The Scot went on to water down United's Champions League chances ahead of a testing trip to Ukraine to play Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday.

"To win the Champions League, you need five or six world-class players," Moyes said, pointing to the array of match-winners at Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.

"We've not got that yet but what we have got is experience."

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