RVP pleads for time amid United indecision

Posted by Mark Payne

Recent weeks have not been kind to the Manchester United dressing room. After three straight defeats at the start of the month, the first rumbles of unrest appeared in the media suggesting "senior" players were unhappy with the current regimen. This week, the club's senior striker has come out firing with a clear message: David Moyes will turn things around.

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"People don't understand that they have to give him a little bit of time," said van Persie. It is an interesting dynamic to see senior players defending their manager. Usually, in most walks of life, you expect this dynamic to operate in reverse.

Matters are not helped in the slightest by the fact that Manchester City have registered 99 goals already and it is only January. It can hardly be ignored that City are also in the company of a new manager. In addition, this is Manuel Pellegrini's first season in the Premier League and he is doing rather well.

"He will get that time," added van Persie, indicating the company line is that Moyes is going nowhere.

"We are all convinced he will turn things around." This last statement is interesting. There is a suggestion that the group, the players, are looking to Moyes to change something so that things improve. If that is the case, they can't be finding encouragement in the transfer window so far.

United's next Premier League opponents, Chelsea, loom. They have bought Nemanja Matic to bolster their midfield while the best thing United could do to beef up theirs was sell Anderson to Fiorentina. Why it should be that Mourinho can effortlessly sign a midfielder and United have not added one for several years is a mystery to many.

Moyes has been seen in games in France and Italy supposedly scouting players. Where are the signings? Where is the decisiveness? Still there are no new players to inject some energy into a dressing room lacking in belief.

The easiest choices are the ones that are made by circumstance. Wayne Rooney is injured so he can't play. Van Persie is injured so he can't play. Danny Welbeck is scoring goals so he can play. Sometimes football management is easy.

The indecision indicates one thing and one thing only: We don't know what we are doing. Things are not going well and, seemingly, nothing is being done to address that situation. When you aren't dealing with your problems, you can only really expect them to get worse. That is what awaits United it seems. I wouldn't hold out too much hope for Sunday.

Mark Payne is the author of "Fergie's Last Stand," now available in paperback.

Follow him on Twitter @MarkJPayne.


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