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Manchester United needs more than just Di Maria

Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal will know that his team's performance need to start improving

Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal will know that his team’s performance need to start improving

Yesterday I wrote an article stating how much of a good signing that Angel Di Maria would be for Manchester United.

The Argentinian ace is believed to be flying into Manchester today to complete a British-record £63.9million move from Real Madrid.

The winger is an outstanding signing, but unfortunately for Manchester United fans it is going to take more than just the signing of the Argentine to revive the teams flagging fortunes.

Poor

As speculation was mounting yesterday that the Di Maria deal was close to completion, United were stumbling to a 1-1 draw at Sunderland. In truth the performance from the Red Devils was poor and uninspiring.

United struggled to create chances and they had just three shots on target.  With the likes of Juan Mata, Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie on the pitch you would expect better from the Red Devils.

Di Maria will add creativity and could very well find himself playing in the centre of midfield, a problem area of United’s team in recent years. Di Maria playing as winger is not an option in Louis Van Gaal’s favoured 3-5-2 formation, unless the veteran boss decides to change his formation.

Yesterday’s central midfield combination of Darren Fletcher and Tom Cleverley are obviously not good enough to compete at the top level.

Fletcher has been a superb servant to Manchester United and has done superbly well to recover from illness and return to the United team. However, at the moment he does not look fully-fit. Hopefully he can build up his fitness during the season.

Tom Cleverley is a completely different story. Once a promising young midfield star, he just does not seem to have developed into the player many thought he would. He still seems to be making poor decisions.

New Spanish central midfield Ander Herrera missed the trip to the north east with a knock, but expected to only be out for a short period of time, which is probably a good job for United.

Defence

United lost Chris Smalling through injury in the Sunderland game and ended up with two youngsters Michael Keane and Tyler Blackett at the heart of their defence alongside the slightly more experienced Phil Jones, who seems to have embraced Van Gaal’s formation.

Argentinian Marcos Rojo is still waiting for his work permit to be granted. No doubt he will be a welcome addition to what currently looks like a threadbare United defence, with Jonny Evans and Luke Shaw sidelined through injury.

Slow Burner

There is no doubt that Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal is a very good coach. You only have to look at the amount of silverware he has won to know that. However, the veteran Dutchman has never been a quick fix.

Van Gaal usually takes instilling his philosophy into his teams, which sometimes takes a season or so. United fans will want instant results though and at the moment the Dutchman has not got the right players to give those fans what they want.

Van Gaal is a very shrewd boss. He will find a way to make it work at United, but he will need time to turnaround what seems to have been a disastrous 13 months at Old Trafford. He will also know that he is under pressure to turn the clubs fortunes around.

The United board have, and most probably will continue to back the Dutchman in the transfer market as he looks to assemble a team of players capable of once again competing at the top end of the Premier League table.

Until then Manchester United fans could be in for a bumpy ride and their team may not be that pretty to watch. However, once Van Gaal does get it right, if given the time of course, then he will return the team to their former glories.

United fans have been spoilt in the last two decades under Sir Alex Ferguson. For years they dominated opposition teams and won trophies, as fans of some other English clubs watched on with envious eyes.

It is now United’s fans turn to look at rivals with envious eyes, at least until Van Gaal gets it right anyway. Manchester United fans now know what it feels like to be supporting a team that does not necessarily win every week.

United will no doubt rise again in the future, but at the moment they cannot paper over the cracks in their team by signing one world-class player. They need more and everybody connected with the club will know that.

What are United’s weak positions at the moment?

Mon 25 August, 2014
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