Manchester United’s 2-1 home defeat to Swansea on Saturday reminded the Red Devils faithful that, despite David Moyes’ departure and Louis Van Gaal’s arrival, all is still not well at Old Trafford.
This time last year Moyes himself came up against Swansea, but rather than succumbing to a shock defeat his United outfit actually ran-out 4-1 winners in South Wales. Of course this proved to be a false dawn, and fans will now be dreaming that Van Gaal will have learned from the error of his ways and will already be plotting how United can build from their abject defeat.
However the Dutch coach has now admitted that it might take at least 3 months for United’s players to truly understand his coaching methods, while he’s also revealed that he knows the club needs a bevy of players to actually compete for European and English soccer’s finest honors.
When asked if United needed new players before the end of the transfer window on September 1, Van Gaal declared:“Yes, but I have thought that before this match, so it is no different. When we were playing in the US, I thought the same. I know in what positions we need better players. But you have to buy only when the player can fulfil the way of playing that I ask. We have to wait and see. But we could have won today.”
When he was then pressed to name some of the players that he desires, Van Gaal abruptly proclaimed: “I don’t discuss that with you. I am sorry.”
It’s no surprise to hear that Van Gaal is in the hunt for new players. All summer long United have been linked to a hoard of stars, several of whom excelled at the World Cup. Despite the fact that they didn’t qualify for the Champions League, the premier competition in European soccer, the club are still able to attract quality players because of their history and reputation.
But who do they precisely need? Well, judging on yesterday’s showing, it’s clear that United needat least one-experienced centre back who can help to develop the others around him. Phil Jones and Chris Smalling are still prone to mistakes while 20-year-old debutant Tyler Blackett naively was responsible for Swansea’s second-goal when he gave the ball back to the Welsh side immediately after a free-kick was called and then they went on to score.
Another left-sided defender, who can play at full-back or centre-back, would also be beneficial, and Daley Blind and Marcos Rojo, both of whom have been linked to the club in the last few days, would certainly fit this bill, while a strong, ball-playing central midfielder would also bring some much needed guile and precision to United’s attacks too.
The problem is United’s squad is beginning to look increasingly bereft of talent. Javier Hernandez, Tom Cleverley, Maraoune Fellaini, Ashley Young, Rafael, Nani and Anderson only seem to have become increasingly worse over the last few seasons, and Van Gaal will just be coming to terms with the fact that it could take several months or even years to truly get United in the shape that he pines.
Let’s hope that, unlike his predecessor, he is given the time to do just that.
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