The Red Devils have been on the road to recovery after last season’s dreadful campaign…
Manchester United have won their last three games, defeating Crystal Palace, Arsenal, and Hull City. The victory against the Tigers was especially impressive with a three goal winning margin. However, they are not yet back to their best whatever some pundits have said.
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New manager Louis van Gaal has done some good work bringing a more attacking style and managing to concede surprisingly few goals with an injury decimated backline, but there is still more to do. The manner in which they have been winning their games has not been the greatest, and they need to improve dramatically in some areas.
They have essentially beaten two teams who have set up hoping to nick a draw in their last three matches. They also didn’t even manage to do that convincingly against Crystal Palace. One of the reasons for this has been the stuttering form of their front line, and especially star signing Angel Di Maria.
Since his lightning start to life in the Premier League the Argentine has struggled to hit the same heights. He is still obviously a very good player, but a change to formation which has moved him wider seems to have hurt his ability to get as involved in the game as he was before. This would seem to be counter productive from Louis van Gaal. Although it has brought out better performances from Marouane Fellaini and Wayne Rooney, Di Maria has faded away.
Another problem which has blighted the Red Devils recently has been a continued confusion over how they should be playing and how this indecision has influenced the defence. The same system changes that have had an effect on their record signing have made the defenders look unsure of what to do at times.
It was especially evident against Arsenal, where the back three that was playing looked undecided on whether they were meant to be passing it out from the back or going more direct and trying to catch the Gunners on the counter. Although they got lucky on that occasion and it didn’t cost them, it will in the future if they don’t sort it out.
So in essence what needs to be done at Old Trafford is to decide on how they’re going to play. The constant switching can’t continue as the players don’t seem to have the footballing “intelligence” to keep up with it. Moreover, the style which they choose will be the biggest decision of van Gaal’s time at the club. Get it wrong and these current problems will continue, and eventually come back to hurt them when the points are totaled up at the end of the season.