Manchester United 0 Newcastle United 1: Champions haven't got a clue
United can't work out what's going wrong in their worst start for 12 Premier League seasons
Manchester United’s manager David Moyes yesterday failed to offer any explanation for the catastrophic drop in performance levels which has seen a squad built by Sir Alex Ferguson collapse to their fifth defeat of the season and struggle to maintain Champions’ League status.
United are currently losing one game in three and their second 1-0 home defeat in four days, to Newcastle United, leaves them with fewer goals at home than the bottom club Sunderland. But Moyes insisted he had made minimal changes from the squad Ferguson bequeathed him.
“It’s the same players that won the Premier League last year,” he said, when it was put to him that he had made too many changes too quickly. “It’s the same squad I had since I started. They have more experience now.”
In the space of four days week, Everton have recorded their first victory at Old Trafford in 21 years and Newcastle their first win there in 41 years. But when asked why he thought he could arrest things, Moyes said: “Because of the players and because I am working with the champions.”
14 points fewer than this stage last year
The Newcastle manager Alan Pardew said he thought that Moyes’ struggle could last all season. “David might have to have a year like that when it’s touch and go for him,” he said, observing that United had a fabled history of sticking by their managers.
Pardew said: “I remember the 1990 FA Cup final when United scored with eight minutes to go [against Pardew’s Crystal Palace] and I saw [Ferguson] down the tunnel and he was relieved because they had got out of jail. But they stuck by him, and David might need a year like that. But he’ll come through it because he’s a strong man.”
Moyes shot down claims made on Irish radio by the BBC’s pundit Mark Lawrenson that Robin van Persie is deeply unhappy and may want to leave United. “Absolute nonsense, I don’t know if there’s a harder or tougher word I can say but that’s it,” he declared.
Even Sunderland have scored more at home
Van Persie returned to the side in Wayne Rooney’s absence after what Moyes has said is a groin problem, though he did not look fully fit after a month out.
Pardew’s press conference again exposed the farce of journalists from the local press being refused the chance to put questions to the manager because of owner Mike Ashley’s dispute with the newspaper group.
National journalists posed the questions that had been ruled inadmissible. In his moment of glory, Pardew was embarrassed.
Liam Neeson's Downton dreams
Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage
Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour
Latest in Sport
Everton vs Wolfsburg match report: Tim Howard hands Everton clear advantage
Think before you ink: Manchester United fan gets Sir Alex Ferguson tattoo - and will regret it for the rest of his life
Paul Scholes column: Rio Ferdinand and John Terry row was bad but they could have kept playing for England
Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal: Mesut Ozil given the worst rating possible by German newspaper Bild after poor performance
Colombian women's cycling team kit that makes wearer appear naked is branded 'unacceptable' by UCI president
- 2 iOS 8 is full of shiny new features - but it's terrible news for app developers
- 3 Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
- 4 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 5 Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'