Most of United players spared the wrath of Ferguson

Most of United players spared the wrath of Ferguson

UNITED KINGDOM - The relief around Old Trafford was palpable.

Wayne Rooney, while criticised for apparently demanding the recruitment of Mesut Oezil in 2010, has not been eviscerated.

Nor have any other first-team players. Sir Alex Ferguson saved his bullets for Roy Keane, David Beckham and Rafael Benitez.

David Moyes and Manchester United can return to business as usual.

For weeks, there have been concerns at Carrington that Ferguson's book would rip the top off of a can of worms and pour them all over Moyes' desk.

This was the man who knew everything and he no longer had to worry about keeping his players, or anyone else's, happy.

And what could United do to stop him? Who would have been brave enough to tell him what he could and couldn't say?

Fortunately for Moyes, it seems that he has held his tongue on the issues that could have caused the most problems.

The issues that cause the most problems for Moyes currently are football matches.

United's slow start is no blip. They are struggling to win football matches, not because of early nerves or freakish results, but because they are not playing very well.

There are a number of players whose performances are substandard, but across the team there is uncertainty and a lack of belief.

That is to be expected, to a certain extent. No manager could replace Ferguson and immediately fill his void. Moyes needs patience, but not as much as he needs a string of victories.

Moyes is swiftly growing accustomed to European matches like these, quickfire attempts to relieve the pressure upon himself brought by a poor league result.

An emphatic victory over Bayer Leverkusen helped to briefly banish memories of a run of just four points from a possible nine while a creditable draw in Donetsk was something of a soothing balm for defeat at home by West Bromwich Albion.

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