Everton 2 Man United 0: Three talking points
Everton 2 Man United 0: Three talking points as David Moyes' side slip to their 11th Premier League defeat of the season
Moyes’ time in charge is drawing to a close
For large parts of the season, the #MoyesOut brigade have been largely chastised for their views and heralded as spoilt kids throwing their toys out of their collective pram. But after yet another defeat by a side in the top half of the table, maybe it is time for the rest of the United fans to climb down from their ‘support the manager no matter what’ high-horses and join those in the dissenting majority. The team’s performances have been nothing short of woeful all season and playing ‘The United Way’ seems a distant memory. Aside from giving his talented attacking midfielders a free reign in the final third, there is no real plan from Moyes, no tactical know-how, and most painfully, no real idea of how to get the ball in the back of the net. The players are unmotivated and clearly unhappy about the current state of affairs, even so that Danny Welbeck, a United man to the core, reportedly wants out. For a player who grew up minutes from the team he loves and plays for to begin to consider his future so soon into the new manager’s reign, questions have to be raised about Moyes’ handling of the men working under him. But arguably the most striking and unforgivable error from Moyes this season has been building the team around Wayne Rooney, a player that blows so hot and cold he’s more at risk of being torn apart by a Tornado than America’s deep south. As has been the case in recent seasons, Rooney appears to be going through a his cyclical patch of poor form having played so well just one month ago. But Moyes has persisted with playing the striker up front alone despite having a fully fit duo of Welbeck and Hernandez sitting plum on the bench – and that is wholly irresponsible. Overall, nothing has changed for the past two, three or maybe even four months. There has been no improvement (apart from a couple of isolated decent results against bottom half teams), and it is time for the board to admit they made a mistake. Moyes must go.
McCarthy and Barry are a match made in heaven
James McCarthy has been a revelation in his first season in the Premier League. At times his good form has slipped under the radar thanks to the nature of Ross Barkley’s eye-catching performances (combined with the fact that us Englishmen love to hype up one of our own as if nothing else in the game matters), but when the Irishman is not in the team it’s clear how much Everton miss him, the defeat at Palace a painfully obvious testament to that statement. The FA Cup winner has crafted a perfect balance between attack and defence when playing in the holding role in such a short space of time, and continues to be the launching pad for the impressively flowing Everton counter-attacks, despite still being just eight months into his first full PL campaign. But as much as Everton need McCarthy, McCarthy needs Gareth Barry. The on-loan City man has been much maligned in recent seasons, and is still often associated with the vision of a spritely Mesut Ozil leaving him for dust in South Africa. But since Pellegrini shipped the ageing holding midfielder out to anyone that would take him earlier in the summer, Barry has quietly gone about his business in a very understated manner. Akin to that rare breed of plumber who shows up at your house, declines a tea, fixes your pipes and cleans up after himself, Barry has just turned up every week and gone about his business in a very professional manner. It has been this willingness to play the unglamorous role for his side that has allowed McCarthy to be the one to take the risks in the middle of the park, forming a very exciting and dependable axis for the Toffee’s exhilarating brand of counter attacking football.
Carrick’s form has dropped through the floor
To say that Michael Carrick is a shadow of his former self is an insult to shadows. The much maligned replacement for Roy Keane had a sterling season last year, and was absolutely instrumental in clinching United’s record 21st title. Journalists and fans alike had finally started to give him recognition for his performances, acknowledging that this man might not actually be as bad as we first thought. But such is the nature of football, once again we have all been made to look a little bit silly. Against Everton, Carrick was virtually invisible. He offered absolutely nothing to his side’s attack, whilst also offering up little resistance against the rampaging Everton forwards. When Carrick is playing well he makes it all look easy, the trouble is that he has now not been playing well for the best part of a year. It was well-documented at the start of the season that United’s midfield needed a bit of oomph, maybe one extra player to come in and help shore things up. But now they need two. Carrick’s decline is regrettable considering how good of a servant the man has been to the club, but another performance of such poor quality sadly spells the end for the number 16 at Manchester United.