After a loss and a draw in his first two games in charge of Manchester United, there was to be no third time lucky for Louis Van Gaal, who watched on in astonishment as his side were humbled 4-0 by MK Dons and suffered the ignominy of exiting the Capital One Cup before the majority of top teams have even entered it.
United, now more than ever, are a side in crisis and lacking identity, which makes analysing their performances all too complicated. However, even embarrassing nights such as last night – and, make no mistake, it did look woefully abysmal from the away end – can provide some indications of what to expect this season.
Here’s five things we’ve learnt from last night…
Manchester United are considering letting Danny Welbeck, Tom Cleverley and Wilfried Zaha go out on loan, as Louis Van Gaal is willing to give the trio an opportunity to get first team football elsewhere before deciding whether to part ways with them permanently or not.
The Mirror today reports that while all three players could leave between now and the end of the transfer window, their future remains unclear at the moment.
Marcos Rojo is set to complete his €20m – £16m – transfer from Sporting Lisbon to Manchester United, with Nani heading the other way, initially on a season-long loan.
Sporting Lisbon confirmed the deal via their official Twitter account and the defender, who becomes the fourth Argentine to play for United after Juan Sebastian Veron, Gabriel Heinze and Carlos Tevez, confirmed he’ll join Louis van Gaal’s side in an interview with Argentinian radio Continental.“It feels like a dream, to be a Manchester United player. Leaving Sporting wasn’t easy,” he said.
Judging a book by its cover is often a misguided and short-sighted activity to indulge into, but there are times when even the most composed and sensible of souls tend to be carried away and make irrational and rushed judgments.
It’s something a lot of United fans were guilty of this summer. A positive pre-season, a world class manager replacing David Moyes’ tactical inadequacies and his turgid football and, in the eyes of many, United were poised for a return to the glory days of the Fergie era in the blink of an eye.
Yesterday’s defeat against Swansea proved things might not be a simple this season, despite Louis Van Gaal’s arrival. Here’s five things we have learnt.
In the late 1970s, throughout the “Darkness on The Edge of Town tour”, Bruce Springsteen used to add a verse to one of his signature songs, Backstreets, in which the song’s main character bemoaned being betrayed by the girl he loved.
“You lied,” sang Springsteen, initially in a melancholic, matter of fact voice, before following the music’s crescendo to utter those words in a mixture of ferocious anger and disgust.
Manchester United are targeting AS Roma centre-back Mehdi Benatia, as Louis Van Gaal looks to bolster his defensive options, after missing out on Thomas Vermaelen and Mats Hummels.
ESPN claims that sources within the club are adamant the United manager is determined to bring in two players between Benatia, Daley Blind and Marcos Rojo before the end of the transfer window, as Van Gaal currently has only three centre-backs at his disposal and the injury to Luke Shaw complicates things even further.
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Louis Van Gaal has chosen Manchester United’s captain for this season and, perhaps slightly surprising, Wayne Rooney and not Robin Van Persie is the man the new United manager has chosen to skipper the side in his inaugural campaign at Old Trafford.
The relationship between Van Persie and Van Gaal had many suggesting that the former Arsenal striker would be given the armband this season, particularly given he had captained Holland at the World Cup but, instead, the honour has gone to Rooney, with Darren Fletcher promoted to the role of vice-captain.
Louis Van Gaal is ready to axe seven players of the current United squad ahead of the new season but Shinji Kagawa will remain at Old Trafford, according to reports that emerged last night.
The United manager had been expected to individually tell the players he considers to be surplus to requirements that they were free to find themselves a new club after evaluating them throughout United’s summer tour and, according to the Daily Mail, seven players have been told they’ve no future at Old Trafford.