Manchester United David Moyes admitted that he was “concerned” by Manchester United’s woeful form as a deserved 2-1 defeat to West Bromwich Albion condemned the 20-time league champions to their worst start to a season since 1989.
The result set the seal on a ghastly seven days for the Manchester United manager, as the embarrassment of the derby loss to Manchester City was followed by a second limp defeat to increase the pressure on Moyes’ position.
A total of seven points from six games means United drop to 12th in the Premier League table, matching exactly the feeble haul that prompted calls for Moyes’ predecessor Sir Alex Ferguson to be sacked 24 years ago.
“It was a disappointing result, and performance,” said Moyes, after a superb solo goal by Morgan Amalfitano and a second for Saido Berahino secured West Brom’s first victory at Old Trafford for 35 years.
“We never really got going. Whenever we did make something, we didn’t finish it. I’m concerned, but only because we didn’t play well.
"There are a lot of games to come, and I’ll do everything I can to put it right. You’re going to have bad results — it’s how you deal with them.”
The manager, bombarded with cries of “getting sacked in the morning” from the West Brom end, acknowledged he was worried by the lack of intensity in United’s display, as his players demonstrated only a fraction of the fire and intensity that took them to a record 20th title just four months ago.
Asked if there had been an absence of spark here, despite the late arrival of Robin van Persie, he replied: “There was. We missed something to take hold of the game and make a difference. I thought at times we controlled the game but we couldn’t provide the telling finish. There is no question that West Brom deserved the victory — they were always a threat on the break.”
Alarmingly for United, they have also now registered 450 minutes without scoring a league goal from open play. While Wayne Rooney scored again with an inswinging free kick, the team’s deficiencies in attack have grown into a problem for Moyes. “There are plenty of fine forward players at this club but we haven’t been able to open up play as much as we would like,” he said.
His tactics were also questioned when he made the bizarre move at half-time to replace Shinji Kagawa with Belgian teenager Adnan Januzaj, who proved ineffectual.
“There is a lot of competition for places,” Moyes argued.