After two unconvincing games against opposition that shouldn’t have rattled them in the Premier League, Manchester United have sunk to an unprecedented low after losing 4-0 to MK Dons in the Capital One Cup.
It’s worrying times for the Red Devils, but are Manchester United merely experiencing the teething problems that come with a change of management – or have they fallen out of the frying pan and into the fryer?
It was two short years ago that Sir Alex Ferguson’s team won the league, and so far this year, it’s been one disappointment after another for the team and their fans.
The appointment of Louis van Gaal after the stress and lack-luster results under David Moyes was meant to be a vast improvement given the experience and track record which the Dutchman boasts – but worryingly, Manchester United were three points better off at this stage last season under Moyes.
It’s only been two games, but those are not good numbers for a team who are normally so dominant – especially given that they’ve only taken one point from a potential six.
This year, their season kicked off against Swansea and the Swans welcomed Van Gaal to the Premier League by winning their season opener—and at Old Trafford no less.
This is the first time United have lost at home on opening day since 1972. Out of the eleven players starting for United, only one was a change from last year – suggesting that there were enough players out there who should have known what to do in the game.
The game was followed by a poor draw against Sunderland, who pulled off one heck of a survival feat last year – and managed it just by the skin of their teeth.
Worrying times indeed for United, but it pales in comparison to their shocking exit in the second round of the Capital One Cup to League One side MK Dons. It took until the 72nd minute for United to even register a shot on goal against them. I’d like to say it was down to their youth squad but….it wasn’t. There were some big-name senior players out there too.
Considering the above, what has gone wrong at United, and have things gotten off to a worse under Van Gaal than they did under Moyes?
It has certainly not helped that Van Gaal has entered the fray at United at a slight disadvantage. Most managers were able to spend their summers scouting; Van Gaal was busy leading Holland to a very respectable finish in the World Cup. The players coming in have been few – although the recent addition to the team of Angel Di Maria might be a tremendous ace up Van Gaal’s sleeve.
Regardless of who is in the driver’s seat, the squad seems to struggle to replace ageing players, and to insist on retaining some who aren’t of a high enough quality to be playing for that good of a club.
Outstanding performances have been few and far between and how – HOW – Juan Mata earned ten fantasy points from partaking in that travesty against Sunderland I will never know. The man could have cured cancer on the pitch and still shouldn’t have been able to sniff at more than two points after that team’s collective “performance.”
Manchester United cannot really afford the time it takes to settle in new managers, which is really unfortunate.
It doesn’t help that their success is so demanded that people retain a delusional expectation of grandeur without allowing them the time to build back to that level.
For United’s sake, I hope Louis van Gaal is the man for the job, but I wonder if the lack of results is more due to who is on the pitch, and the expectations people have of them, rather than who is standing next to it.
Footyettes. What do you make of United’s season? Will Van Gaal be the man with the plan, or are United in more trouble than Crystal Palace? Let us know below?