At the start of the season Manchester United fans were enthusiastic about the coming season, given their encouraging pre season form however that soon turned into frustration after the first game of the season after losing at home to Swansea. Many fans felt that the weaknesses in the team were defensive but as the season has gone further along they seem to have slowly become more solid at the back and the frustration now is at the end of the pitch. Scoring goals is becoming a major cause for concern, with a lack a creativity being the most frustrating issue.
I feel that to start with the formation is too unbalanced, for example the game against West Ham they started out with Adnan Januzaj and Luke Shaw down the left wing, they looked dangerous at times and had opportunities to get the ball in the box but didn’t utilise those opportunities well enough, however on the right side, Antonio Valencia was the only option therefore giving West Ham less to deal with as Wayne Rooney, Angel Di Maria and Daley Blind were all playing centrally.
As a fan, I felt so frustrated to see that something so hasn’t been addressed and doesn’t look like being solved. When you look at the bench to see one of the most experienced managers in the game, Louis van Gal and Ryan Giggs, one of the best wingers to play the game, how are they not able to see this? I will say that deploying Januzaj is a positive step and his partnership with Shaw will be a good sign for United fans. That is back to how it used to be, when Evra and Giggs used to be exploiting opposition defences, it gives backlines such a headache, stretching the full backs away from the centre backs, creating more space for the attackers in the box.
The issue of the right wing position is in my opinion the biggest area that needs resolving. Antonio Valencia is currently being used as a makeshift right back, which leaves only a few candidates to play in that position. First of all, out of the remaining players I would use Angel Di Maria, his pace when he is the ball is always going to be a nightmare for defences, so they wouldn’t know whether to stay tight or to stand off him, also he has the ability to cut inside and either shoot or cross.
It is getting increasingly frustrating to see how much talent is not being used, and United can only have themselves to blame for this.
Another disappointing thing to see is that Nani is on loan at Sporting Lisbon, performing well and would offer more in that area, also a player that started the first game for United this season on the right wing, Jesse Lingard is on loan at Derby. I appreciate he will learn a lot from his time there but why aren’t we giving these people a chance? If it doesn’t work out, then at least we can say we have given these players a chance. At the moment it just looks like playing the ‘best’ players and hoping it will work out.
There is no better example of this than using Radamel Falcao and Robin van Persie as a strike partnership, watching them play together looks like they have no understanding of each others game. I am a huge fan of Falcao and want him to succeed this season but it just doesn’t look like it is going to work out, he is one of the best aerial players in the world but isn’t getting good enough service from wide areas, therefore resorting to coming deep to get the ball, which isn’t his strength.
Van Persie is a shadow of his former self and looks to be declining, however he isn’t being utilised as he used to be, when he gets the ball at his feet on the edge of the box, he would turn defenders and beat the ‘keeper with his deadly left foot, but we haven’t seen that all season.
I feel that a poacher is what United need, someone who stays on the last man and gives them an option over the top. James Wilson would be one of those players and needs to be given a chance to prove himself. Huge fan favourite, Javier Hernandez is on loan at Real Madrid and has scored some invaluable goals during his time at Old Trafford, again why isn’t Van Gaal giving him a chance? He would be a perfect fit and it just seems that something is going on behind the scenes; it will be interesting at the end of the season to see what happens to these players who are out on loan. There is a long way to go before that happens though and to appeal to big name players, United have to be playing Champions League football next season, and finishing in the top four isn’t a certainty yet.
Is it just me who thinks this or is there something else going on?
by Scott Steel-Morris