Tuesday, 26 August 2014

A New Manager, New Players, Same Struggle

Louis van Gaal - Manchester United's new manager
Louis Van Gaal - Manchester United new manager

The newly appointed Dutch manager was acclaimed by fans and pundits alike to be a great, wonderful manager, and I am with them on this occasion.

However, with opening results (losing to Swansea 1-2 and drawing with Sunderland 1-1) suggesting that he may not be as special as he has been made out to be.

Obviously it is very early on in the Dutchman's Manchester United managerial career, but van Gaal is yet to utilize much of his transfer budget, every man and his dog knows and recognizes that United need at least one, maybe even two world class centre backs. LVG seems to have also realised this, but is Marcos Rojo really world class?

The Red Devils linked with players such as Benatia and Mats Hummels, have turned to a very much unproven Argentinian centre back, who has been playing in a much weaker league to the Premier League (no disrespect to the Portuguese league). I believe this is an area that they (Manchester United) largely need to improve on, especially with them playing in van Gaal's world renowned 3-5-2 / 5-3-2.

Argentinian midfielder Angel Di Maria joins United

 Although, the ex-Dutch national coach has been active in the transfer market signing Luke Shaw (left back) and Angel Di Maria (attacking midfielder) for around £30,000,000 and £59,700,000 respectively.

Back to tactics, I firmly do not believe that Manchester United's squad, as of yet, is tactically adept enough to play in LVG's favoured 3-5-2 / 5-3-2 formation. The formation requires three good quality centre backs, which United still do not have. Two wing backs which will track back and forth, and no, Ashley Young is not good enough to play wing back for a club like Manchester United. Two central midfielders, one preferably ball winning and one as a sort of deep lying playmaker, the Xavi/Gerrard role. One or two attacking midfielders that can create opportunities, Mata, Kagawa, Januzaj and Di Maria, all can cover this role. Then up front, one or two quality strikers, which they have in Rooney and van Gaal's fellow countryman Van Persie.

3-5-2 when attacking and 5-3-2 when defending

In my opinion, United have 8 or 9 out off the 11 roles covered. LVG has to strengthen as soon as possible, otherwise by January prices will have inflated and an average player might cost them what a good player would of cost in summer.

In conclusion, I think all van Gaal needs is time, and a few more decent signings. Whether that be in the form of Daley Blind or Mats Hummels, that is all they need.