You Are Moyes: What Do You Do...?

Let's play a little role-play game. Not like that. You be David Moyes, and you consider how you'd approach the game against Liverpool. Paul Little provides the options...

Last Updated: 24/09/13 at 09:51 Post Comment

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You are D Moyes - manager of Premier League champions Manchester United. You have endured a disappointing start to your reign as boss of Britain's biggest club, amassing only 7 points from a possible 15 in the league, largely because of a deliberate attempt by the fixtures computer to deprive you of a honeymoon period and undermine your position at the club.

The weekend has just seen your side suffer a pounding at the hands of Manchester City, and next, in a competition you really shouldn't have to worry about, you have to play Liverpool at home in the Capital One Cup.

You are the boss, so what will you do? How would you approach the cup tie with the Reds? Here are three possible strategies. Which would you choose - or would you do something else entirely?

Option 1: Play Your Best Eleven
Field your best eleven and look for a morale-boosting victory over traditional rivals that will put a smile back on the faces of the fans. A strong team should be able to manage that. Indeed a strong side may be required given your opponent Brendan Rodgers has to take this competition seriously. Field your best team and get things back on track.

Of course, the flip-side has to be considered here. Play your best team and lose, and life becomes even more uncomfortable. The media will have field day, the phone-ins will be manic and the fans will lose a little more faith.

Will you be brave and go for it?


Option 2: Field a Weakened Side
Field a weakened side, players on the periphery, youngsters looking to make a mark, senior squad men desperate to impress. Win, and you can grin at Liverpool's embarrassment, rubbing their noses in the fact it really was more important for them to progress. Commend your kids and peripheral players for their victory, and note how they have given you the clich├ęd managerial headache.

Lose, and talk of learning curves for youngsters. Lose and suggest that players like Kagawa still have something to prove. Lose, and make it clear a club like Manchester United has bigger fish to fry.

The weakened side is an attractive option. You are simply following the approach of the previous incumbent, and he wasn't bad was he? You are like him are you not - determined to give youth and chance, but knowing where the priorities lie.
Wouldn't this be the most sensible option?


Option 3: Shift the Spotlight Elsewhere
Cover Patrice Evra's arms in beefy Bovril, and as Luis Suarez tucks in at the handshake, the game can be all about them! In the post game press conference, whatever the result, you can speak authoritatively and morally about how we none of us want to see incidents like that ever again, happy in the knowledge that the result will be quickly forgotten in the furore.

So boss, what will it be? Strong side? Weakened side? Evra covered in meat extracts? You decide!

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may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

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ooray! We are all excited now, we beat a very mediocre team! With all due respect to WHU supporters, not winning that game shouldn't even be a consideration. This is the problem, there is no winning mentality at the Emirates - we're all congratulating ourselves beating a team that we have a winning record against.

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