LIKE the desperate Manchester United fan who dialled emergency services following Wednesday’s Capital One Cup elimination, signing Juan Mata feels like David Moyes’s 999 moment.
Nothing against Mata, but I’m not sure he’s what United need, and I find it very hard to believe that signing him has been in their plans for long. Instead it feels like a direct reaction to a series of bad results; Moyes sticking his finger in the dam.
United need something to lift the mood and turn the tide of negativity enveloping them. This £37m deal – a statement of intent from the club – should do that, up to a point.
It’s a temporary boost, an attempt to get other players back to the level they should be performing at. I don’t think it will lift United as much as Mesut Ozil’s arrival did at Arsenal, though they might well now go on a small run of victories.
The problem is United’s issues run far deeper than one player. This month alone they have crashed out of both domestic cup competitions and, now 14 points off the top, seen their Premier League title defence wither and die.
Mata’s arrival raises questions, such as where will the Spain schemer play? Worryingly for Moyes, it may also have more United fans wondering whether they do indeed have the right man in charge.
Trevor Steven is a former England footballer who played at two World Cups and two European Championships. He now works as a media commentator.