EPL: He emulates his predecessor

Manchester United's Scottish manager David Moyes

David Moyes was the manager of EVERTON for 11 years, but it's taken no time whatsoever for him to tarnish his reputation at the club.

Supporters who used to worship him for his work at Goodison Park are now furious at his conduct since leaving for Manchester United.

It has been no secret that Moyes would like to take Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini to old Trafford, but this week he crossed a line when he appeared to publicly encourage them to make the move.

Moyes said that he sympathised for his successor Robeto Marinez, but when he was the EVERTON manager, "he always felt the right thing to do was to do what was right for the players."

That will be news to Joleon Lescott, who was denied a move to Manchester City in 2009 and wasn't released until he'd been forced to play on the opening day of the season and had done so with minimal effort.

The episode hasn't brought an awful lot of joy to United supporters either. They were hoping for a rather more glamorous array of signings than a couple of EVERTON players.

They've seen Manchester City signing some of europe's top players, they've seen Tottenham sign a mixture of upand- coming talent and established quality from both the continent and south America.

Underwhelmed

They've seen Chelsea steal Willian away from Tottenham.

With just a week to go until the transfer window closes, they're still underwhelmed with the summer's trading.

At least it all looks good on the pitch. Wigan were comfortably beaten at Wembley and swansea, who put up considerable resistance, were felled with a couple of first-half jabs inside two minutes.

Given that the visit to south Wales had been marked out as such a banana skin, a 4-1 victory was far more than could have been expected.

Moyes, however, has already made his feelings clear on the opening fixtures, slamming the Premier League and suggesting that there was some calculation in the way the games have been organised.

It hasn't taken him long to emulate his predecessor.

Moyes has emulated his predecessor on the pitch as well, resisting the temptation to make dramatic changes to the way the team plays.

Robin van Persie has been given the leading role, to the continued consternation of Wayne Rooney, and he has made full use of it, scoring four goals in two games.

What is more interesting is the way that Moyes has deployed Danny Welbeck. The englishman drifts in from the flank on the attack, giving United two strikers, but goes wide at other times, giving the opposing fullback something to think about.

Boosted by Moyes and encouraged to express himself, Welbeck has already scored twice as many goals this season as he did last season, but it's his build-up play that really impresses.

Understanding

He has a good understanding of the way that van Persie plays and his delicate touches and passes complement the Dutchman well.

He has also improved dramatically as an aerial threat.

Welbeck has always had great potential, but if he can fulfil it this season, the future of Rooney is far less of a concern.

Behind the strikers, Moyes has given Ryan Giggs more playing time that might have been expected. Giggs, now on the coaching staff, is nearly 40, but he still retains the intelligence and guile, if not the pace, of himself ten years ago.

He exerts a great influence on his team-mates, not to mention the match officials, but his legs are slowing. No surprise then that Moyes pushed so hard to recruit Cesc Fabregas.

All of which brings us back to those transfer concerns.

If United had signed Thiago Alcantara, Fabregas or any other big name footballer, the atmosphere around the club would be far more relaxed.

Moyes said earlier in the summer that money was no object, but very little has been spent.

The arrival of Baines and Fellaini is unlikely to make much difference to the residual anxiety at old Trafford.

The only thing that will is a win on Monday night. This has been a most curious summer.

npsports@sph.com.sg


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