On the back of a successful pre-season, we saw Manchester United lift the International Champions Cup with defeats for Real Madrid and Liverpool in stylish fashion, these performances gave many fans hope coming into the new season.
However, Louis van Gaals tenure as Manchester United manager went underway in disappointing fashion with defeat to Swansea, leaving a sour taste in the mouths of many expectant reds. If the season of David Moyes was anything to go by, van Gaal had to be given time and most importantly money.
Furthermore, with the end of the summer transfer window looming large and LVG’s realisation of the imperativeness that a Champions League place would provide for him and the club; news broke that of Manchester United signing arguably the world’s greatest number 9 in Radamel Falcao on loan from AS Monaco sending Manchester United fans into a flux of hysteria.
Vital hope was restored by the time the transfer windows had shut and with a team full of big names, star studded talent and proven records, Manchester United surely had the firepower to secure a top four finish.
Wayne Rooney, Radamel Falcao and Robin van Persie, names that should send shivers down the spines of most defences in the world of football, failed to do so throughout the season for one reason or another, with a combined wage packet of almost £1,000,000 a week and only 26 league goals between them (a figure matched by Sergio Aguero alone), this begs the question, are any of them right to be here next season?
Assuming that Louis van Gaal will only play with a lone striker in a 433 formation – which is the setup he infamously implements into his previous teams. I believe – if given time – Falcao would have been best suited to that role as shown by performances for Atletico Madrid, as a result of injuries and poor form, United subsequently ruled out the opportunity to extend his loan deal.
As newly appointed captain, Wayne Rooney looks almost certain to stay at the club – whether Rooney is right for the role or was the only viable choice is up for dispute among the more astute supporters. Personally I believe we should experiment up front and drop Rooney for a much younger quicker striker – if we are to play 433.
This brings us onto Van Gaal’s countryman and captain at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Robin van Persie, with age creeping into his game it looks as though his time at Manchester United is running out; presenting the Dutch coach with a dilemma. Does he sell van Persie and retrieve some of the £24 million fee paid for him, whilst freeing up £250,000 on the wage bill or to let his contract run out and use him as a bit part player in LVG’s European journey?
Unfortunately, unlike our noisy neighbours money was not the answer to all of our problems, Van Gaal must sign a striker with potential and to enhance the current squad in terms of longevity, success and one that also fits into his ‘Philosophy’.
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