Sunday Supplement: Manchester United's dip in form inevitable, says Henry Winter

Last Updated: 30/09/13 8:41am

The Telegraph's Henry Winter believes David Moyes inherited a Manchester United squad with long-term problems when he succeeded Sir Alex Ferguson.

United slipped to their third defeat of the season - following defeats to rivals Liverpool and Manchester City - as they suffered a shock loss at home to West Brom on Saturday.

The loss left Moyes' team in 12th place in the table and, despite being only six games into the Premier League season, the former Everton boss is already under scrutiny as he attempts to emerge from the shadow of his predecessor at Old Trafford.

"I am surprised that he has not gone out and said, 'this is a David Moyes team and I deserve to be here, I can be Sir Alex Ferguson's successor and I can have attacking players."

Henry Winter

Winter, though, believes United's dip in form has been inevitable as they no longer have sufficient quality within their squad.

"Is anyone surprise Manchester United have had a dip? If you look at last season that was not the greatest Manchester United squad - it was not as good as '94, '98 or 2008 with Ronaldo," he told the Sunday Supplement.

"He [Moyes] inherited some problems and if he is starting Anderson that is an issue, Nani is an issue, Valencia has not trained on even though he has changed his shirt number. So there were long-term issues that he inherited.

"I am surprised that he has not gone out and said, 'this is a David Moyes team and I deserve to be here, I can be Sir Alex Ferguson's successor and I can have attacking players."

The Daily Mirror's Andy Dunn disagreed that the United squad is not good enough but accused Moyes of trying to temper expectations.

Negativity

Like The Sun's Shaun Custis - who said it is understandable questions are being asked of the United boss - Dunn cited Moyes' moan about United's fixture list at the start of the Premier League season and the manager's recent suggestions that he needs more world-class players for the Champions League as examples of negativity at Old Trafford.

"There is this drip, drip feed out of Old Trafford at the moment from Moyes, whether or not he is doing it deliberately, which is to down play expectation," he said. "It seems to be the in thing in football at the moment.

"I just don't think that you can get away with it at Manchester United. This idea of managing expectations - we see it in the national set-up and all over the Premier League where people are aiming to stay up or finish mid-table and fourth becomes a trophy.

"That should not be Manchester United's way. It should be positive. It is not, it's negative."