Monday night is going to be a special night for Manchester United and David Moyes. For the first time, since the inception of the re-branded Premier League, a new manager will take charge of the Red Devils at Old Trafford. It has to be a great and memorable occasion for the club.
Leaving aside the emotional point of view, Moyes has a huge task at hand. Though, early in the season, victory or defeat doesn’t necessarily seal the fate of either team, but in this case it is. Having seen, Manchester City, the other rival for title challenge were defeated by the newly promoted Cardiff City, the onus is on both the challengers to make the best use of their slip-up.
Secondly, a psychological battle needs to be won. A victory against Jose Mourinho’s team will not only set the tone for the rest of the season, but it will give a psychological victory for Moyes and United as well.
But, most importantly, Moyes, from his personal point of view, needs to win against a ‘big team’ and at Old Trafford. The Scot had set a legacy during his stay at the Goodison Park, but one of the few criticisms he has faced during his 11 years stay is his failure to win against big teams in the league away from home – Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool. Thereby, his record at Old Trafford reflects a dull figure as with the case for Emirates/Highbury, Stamford Bridge and Anfield as well.
He hasn’t won a single game away to these stadiums in 11 years! And 11 years is not a joke! No matter how bad your team may be, for a manager of his caliber, one expects to earn a single victory at least. Even Wigan, yes, the relegated Wigan, had earned victory on their away trips to one of the aforementioned grounds.
In his 13 visits to Old Trafford, the Scot has lost nine times and managed only four draws as Everton manager. His records against ‘big teams’ overall (home and away) isn’t too impressive either. In 31 matches played against Chelsea under him, he managed only three victories (obviously none away from home) with as many as 17 defeats.
Obviously, Moyes will earn a good home record this time around but he needs to improve his records against big teams. And therefore, tonight’s game is the perfect stage to start building on those wretched figures. Nothing is better than to get a victory against Chelsea (a potential title challenger and rivals) and at Old Trafford so early in his new career.
Do you think David Moyes will finally break his jinx against the Big guns with Robin Van Persie leading the way? Or will the nightmares continue for Moyes? Share your views below.