It hasn’t really gone to plan for Manchester United has it? Unwanted records are being broken and despite spending a vast sum in the summer transfer window and shipping out a number of players too, the squad still looks unbalanced.
In amongst the gloom though there have been some signs of encouragement. United’s sharp-shooting attackers appear to be firing and overall the team looks far more imaginative and creative.
Life was always going to be challenging after Fergie rode off into the sunset and thus far the new sheriff of Old Trafford, Louis van Gaal, has witnessed his fair share of the good, the bad and the ugly.
Okay, enough of the western puns.
The attack –
All of last season during David Moyes’ ill-fated reign, United especially against the bigger sides didn’t seem to have any ideas of how to break down opponents or were simply incapable of doing so. Their attacks were sterile, predictable and blunt. Under Moyes, United scored 64 goals in the league, 22 fewer than in Sir Alex Ferguson’s final season in charge. Interestingly, United conceded the same number of goals in those two seasons, 43.
This season the signs up front look extremely promising. The additions of Radamel Falcao and Ángel di María have injected an element of fantasy football to United’s frontline. Since their arrivals United has scored four goals against QPR and three against Leicester respectively. Di María has been an instant hit at Old Trafford netting twice already and setting up numerous scoring opportunities too.
Whilst the result against Leicester was disappointing there were signs that the strike partnership of Robin van Persie and Radamel Falcao could become very fruitful indeed. The Colombian slipped in van Persie whose shot was smartly saved by Kasper Schmeichel before sending over a peach of a cross for the Dutchman to head home.
This season Wayne Rooney has scored twice though is still flattering to deceive whilst Ander Herrera is chipping in with goals as well. With Juan Mata and Adnan Januzaj in reserve United boast a wealth of attacking talent
So far this collection of players haven’t played together long. It’s frightening to think how they’ll perform once they’re settled in, gelled as a unit and fully adapted to the pace of English football.
Ángel di María –
It’s an obvious choice but his impact at United has been immediate. Before di María’s arrival the attack looked ponderous and slow. With him in the side United has a world class player who is capable of breaking at pace, creating chances as well as taking them. He’s an expensive purchase but how United have been crying out for a man of his talents.