Manchester United fans took a lot of stick last season after they dropped from being the Premier League champions to finishing seventh in the space of 12 months.
The Red Devils are bouncing back in 2014-15 however, and despite a slow start that saw them pick up only two points from their first three games, Louis van Gaal’s side head into this weekend’s round of games in the UEFA Champions League places.
United have won three of their last four, scoring 11 goals during this run that has seen them leapfrog the likes of Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool, all whom were expected to compete for a top four finish this season.
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Despite a slow start to the season under Louis van Gaal, Manchester United appear to have turned the corner under their Dutch manager.
United went into the international break in the fourth and final UEFA Champions League place following successive victories for the first time this season.
Van Gaal will be keen to get three points in their next fixture, on Monday night at West Bromwich Albion, as only three points separate them and the team down in 16th position, Stoke City.
Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal are all amongst the opponents Manchester United will face over their next five Premier League fixtures. This will help give us some indication where the Red Devils are right now.
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Paul Scholes has said he fears for Manchester United’s future, insisting that unless major signings are made, the club could follow the same path that took Liverpool into the wilderness in the 1990s.
After a summer that started promisingly with the arrivals of Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera and the appointment of Louis Van Gaal, United have dragged their heels for the last two months while their direct rivals have strengthened and Saturday’s defeat against Swansea was a timely reminder that the gap between United and the elite of English football is widening.
With two less than two weeks left in the transfer window and United in desperate need of reinforcements, after their opening game of the season ended in a dismal 2-1 defeat against Swansea at home, the rumour mill has kicked into overdrive, as Louis Van Gaal has allegedly told Edward Woodward he must deliver before the window shuts.
United have been linked with over a dozen footballers this summer and, alongside Arturo Vidal, Angel Di Maria’s name has been a recurrent theme this summer.
Manchester United are set to miss out on Thomas Vermaelen, after the Belgian’s move to Old Trafford was believed to be off, as Arsenal blocked the deal for their captain.
The Belgian had been linked with a switch to United this summer, after falling behind Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker in the pecking order at the Emirates and Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, had admitted the 28-year-old could leave North London between now and the end of the transfer window.
Darren Fletcher believes Manchester United can win the league this season and claimed the team is getting stronger and more confident under Louis Van Gaal’s tutelage, with the Dutchman having already gone some distance into bringing back the club’s “winning mentality” in the dressing room.
United booked a spot in tonight’s International Champions Cup final after a 3-1 win over Real Madrid on Saturday, their third win in four games on their US tour (United required penalties to get the better of Inter Milan) and Fletcher insisted the players are relishing the opportunity to face Liverpool and are in a confident mood have some good displays.
Ryan Giggs has compared new Manchester United manager, Louis Van Gaal, to Sir Alex Ferguson, claiming both men have a special aura about them and both understand what it takes to make a team successful.
Van Gaal has only been in charge for nine days but that didn’t prevent him from getting his United career off to a flying start as the Reds trounced Los Angeles Galaxy 7-0 in their first pre-season friendly on Thursday, and Giggs believes what he’s seen of the Dutchman so far has a lot in common with what he experienced during the 23 years he played under Fergie.