Manchester United’s Struggling Players and Shocking Defeats
Many people were absolutely shocked when Manchester United lost 2 – 1 to Swansea on the opening day of the Premier League season but it was generally dismissed as the result of early season jitters and the relatively short time that United had spent under Louis Van Gaal. However, when Manchester United once again lost 2 – 1 to Swansea last weekend it became apparent that the team really isn’t progressing.
While it is true that Manchester United played far better football in the last game than they did at the beginning of the season, the team still failed to deliver a fatal blow. Considering the immense resources at their disposal this is truly shocking.
On reaction has been a call to replace Robin van Persie. Van Persie has been excellent for United over the years but many now believe that he has slowed down, both physically and mentally. None of the team’s best moments involved Van Persie and he clearly was not thinking in the same way as him teammates.
Similarly, but for different reasons, it may be time to replace Fellaini. During the first half he fouled multiple times and was rightly booked. It was almost a perfect demonstration of how not to lead the line and there is no place for that kind of playing at Manchester United.
Another player who might be on his way out is Radamel Falcao. It seems that Louis van Gaal has lost all faith in the player. He was taken off after just one hour against Preston last Monday and he is spending a huge amount of time on the bench even with a midfielder playing at centre-forward. It’s hard to see any real future for Falcao at Manchester United or indeed any other major teams; he simply seems to have lost the qualities that made him such a valuable asset a few years ago.
Despite all of the above Manchester United is still an excellent team and there are moments, such as the move for Ander Herrera’s goal, where this is strikingly obvious. With players such as Herrera, Rooney, Shaw and Di Maria the team is undoubtedly going to win games. The only question is how Van Gaal will carry the team forward in the final stages of this season.
While it is highly unlikely that United will win the league the team has a decent chance of a top three finish which they will be desperate to achieve. Van Gaal and the team are sure to be feeling the pressure and it will be interesting to see how they respond over the coming weeks.