Louis Van Gaal’s tenure at Manchester United has got off to the worst start, a home debut defeat to Swansea, an away draw at relegation tipped Sunderland and yesterday, Van Gaal saw his side overhauled by League One side MK Dons, 4-0.
The ease of the victory for MK Dons will be worrying for Manchester United and Van Gaal. Despite playing a number of youth academy products, it was evident the Dons were more alive to the tie and were simply superior. Which begs the question, what is happening to Manchester United?
David Moyes was heavily scrutinised when he was in charge at Old Trafford – claims that he wasn’t big enough for the club resulted in the sacking of the former Everton manager and replaced with a figure who oozed prestige. Louis Van Gaal – however, despite being only three games in, one could argue there is not much difference in the dynamics of the team than when Moyes was at the helm.
Saying his side needs “3 months” to adapt to his new philosophy was a clever tact from the Dutchman, biding himself some time to ensure a foundation was laid before being judged. On the contrary, the second Van Gaal set foot in the “Theatre of Dreams” he was under the limelight from day one. The pressure is mounting already.
The signing of Angel Di Maria was confirmed last night and the Argentine will be fully aware of the pressure now resting on his shoulders to deliver. With a £59.7m price tag to carry as well, United look to have put all their eggs in one basket. Di Maria has quality, no doubt, it’s just a case of, can he provide week in week out?
United’s side doesn’t scare any-more. The days of Keane, Beckham, Van Nistelrooy, Ronaldo, Scholes, Giggs and co have long gone. From the XI that start, it’s only their front three that looks to threaten; Mata, Rooney and Van Persie. Add Di Maria to that mix and you have four players out of an entire squad who can match up to the competitive squads of Chelsea andManchester City.
Has Van Gaal bitten off more than he can chew coming to United? Possibly.
One thing that this does emphasise; Sir Alex Ferguson deserves a lot of credit for making a good side a title winning side.
I’m not so sure Van Gaal can do the same.