So, this wasn’t the way it was suppose to start.
Earlier today in Thailand, David Moyes managed his first game in charge of Manchester United. But it ended in defeat to a team made up of local talent, as United lost 1-0 to Singha All-Star XI.
This is hardly a game you can pick apart and analyze but still, it is never good losing a friendly if you’re Manchester United.
Moyes will have his work cut out to try and emulate Sir Alex Ferguson’s time at Old Trafford, we all know that. And he will need a good preseason to usher out any doubts from United fans regarding his pedigree.
But after the Scotsman tasted defeat in the Far East, is more to come?
This is ridiculously early to judge Moyes, but he did have close to a full strength team on display in the searing heat in Bangkok.
Fabio, Rio Ferdinand, Johnny Evans, Alexander Büttner, Rafael, Michael Carrick, Anderson, Tom Cleverley, Ryan Giggs, Wilfried Zaha and Danny Welbeck all played and the likes of Robin van Persie are set to link up with the squad over the coming days as they head to Sydney, Australia.
Of course we can’t read too much into this friendly defeat, it was just used for fitness. But what is clear to me is that Moyes was testing out some of the fringe players in the squad to see if they should be taken seriously this season. Anderson, Jonny Evans and Fabio come to mind, and new signing Zaha will want to impress to increase his chances of staying at United for the upcoming season. A loan move back to Crystal Palace has been mooted by some.
Moyes joked about the significance of the loss, but as the opening day of the EPL edges ever closer he must now be getting a pretty good idea of what his starting XI will be.
But is this loss a sign of things to come for United?
“I hope not!” Moyes joked. “If I’m going to lose any games I’m happy to lose these ones. It’s preseason.”We missed a couple of chances at the end which may well have got us something out of the game but the important thing is we got a few of the players through 90 minutes.”
Fitness and building team cohesion. Those are the important things to take out of preseason friendlies. But if you win a few, that certainly helps to build confidence.
And right now Moyes needs help if he’s going to get United firing on all cylinders ahead of a pivotal EPL season.
Meaningless friendly defeat or a warning sign? You decide.