Moyes' Red Devils already look like men in a muddle

Red Devils fans may not want to hear this, but the Manchester United of 2013 very much resemble the Liverpool of 2012.

A new manager who has yet to find his way, a misguided transfer policy, and a general lack of fighting spirit.

After Liverpool's somewhat fortunate 1-0 win over their fiercest rivals United on Sunday, Reds manager Brendan Rodgers has to empathise with counterpart David Moyes, who is going through the same growing pains as him.

Rodgers was given time and talent by Anfield bigwigs to reform his ageing and under-performing squad. One wonders if his older and greyer colleague will be afforded the same luxury at the one of the world's biggest clubs.

On the surface, it does not take an advanced coaching badge to see what United lack - a proper midfield general.

Michael Carrick and Tom Cleverley in the middle of the park looked lost and lazy.

It was not entirely their fault, for their team-mates only looked on as Liverpool were quicker to the ball and stronger in the challenge.

I cannot remember the last time a United midfield were outfought and out-hustled by a technically weaker outfit.

What was troubling were the signs of panic and futility on their faces, which were rarely apparent during Alex Ferguson's reign. This hints at the Red Devils' lack of belief in Moyes' tactics.

It was Liverpool, and Steven Gerrard in particular, who dictated the tempo of the match.

The England captain knew when to speed things up with raking passes, and when to hold back and keep the ball moving across the backline.

Defensively, the Reds were first-class.

They worked hard for one another, pressed high up to force Rio Ferdinand and David de Gea into misplaced passes, and swiftly dropped back to form two lines of four when they lost the ball.

This was how Swansea City used to play under Rodgers - and may be a sign that Moyes will need more than one season to get the team playing in his image.

Gerrard and Co looked like they would run all day for Rodgers, while Ferdinand and friends acted as if they were meeting Moyes for the first time.

There was no shape and purpose in their attack - Ashley Young was receiving passes with his back to goal, when he should be played into space to exploit his pace.

At 39, Ryan Giggs, it is sad to say, has no more stepovers left in him and should gracefully step aside.

And where was Shinji Kagawa, whose guile and creativity was just what United needed to crack the Rodgers code?

Liverpool have a clearly-defined playing style and starting line-up, which will only get stronger once Luis Suarez pairs up with Daniel Sturridge once again.

The question for Moyes now is: does he know his best team? More importantly, will he be given the time to find out the answer?

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