Wayne Rooney has apologised for getting sent off against West Ham on Saturday, a red card which means he will now miss games against Everton, West Bromwich Albion and Chelsea, though he’ll be back in time for United’s first derby of the season, away to City on November 2.
Showing a remarkable lack of leadership, the United captain lashed out petulantly at Stewart Downing and was rightly sent off, though he has since admitted his was an error of judgment and accepted Lee Mason made the right choice by sending him off.
Having conjured to spectacularly self-implode against Leicester a week ago, United were back to winning ways against West Ham on Saturday, registering their second consecutive home win and, crucially, conceding just once.
What looked to be a fairly routine win after 20 minutes, however, turned out be anything but as United made things complicated for themselves yet again. Here’s five things we have learnt from Saturday.
Manchester United face a defensive crisis as Louis Van Gaal’s already thin defensive options have been further stretched by Chris Smalling’s umpteenth injury.
Smalling suffered a thigh strain in training on Wednesday and is unlikely he’ll be fit to face West Ham on Saturday, leaving Van Gaal without a recognised centre-back, given Jonny Evans and Phil Jones are also sidelined, while Michael Carrick, who had been touted as a possible short-term solution in the role, is still two weeks away from return.
With Tyler Blackett suspended, Marcos Rojo could be given the nod at centre-back alongside Daley Blind with Luke Shaw making his official debut at left-back, though Van Gaal could also opt to temporarily return to a three-man defence if Smalling fails to recover.
It was fun while it lasted, then it unravelled in catastrophic fashion but, bad as it was, there were some positives to be taken from United’s defeat on Sunday. Here’s five things we’ve learnt from Leicester away
Louis Van Gaal has criticised his Manchester United squad for committing “big errors as a team” and allowing Leicester City to turn a 3-1 defeat into a 5-3 success, United’s second defeat in their opening five league games of the season.
Having been 2-0 ahead with less than 20 minutes played, United allowed Leicester back in the game almost immediately, before then stretching their lead to 3-1 with just over 30 minutes left, only to then collapse and concede four goals in less than 25 minutes, as Leicester ran riot.
After three subdued performances, the visit of QPR at Old Trafford was supposed to be the start of a new era, the real beginning after the Louis Van Gaal revolution and United didn’t disappoint.
The West Londoners might not be a force to be reckoned with – in fact they were abysmal for large spells of the game – but it was a refreshing change to see United finally take control of a game and play with confidence and intent. Here’s five things we’ve learnt from Sunday…
Ryan Giggs and Nicky Butt have said that Manchester United will continued to develop young players as they’ve always done and that the club isn’t moving away from its traditions, despite this summer’s £150m spending spree.
The sale of Danny Welbeck to Arsenal had prompted many to claim that United were abandoning long-term prospects for immediate gain and Eric Harrison, coach of the Class of 92, to claim United were losing “their soul” as a consequence.
Robin Van Persie believes Manchester United will return to success after this summer spending spree and the Dutchman has revealed he’s raring to go, as United look to finally kickstart their season against QPR on Sunday.
A defeat and two draws in their opening three league games represented a poor start for Louis Van Gaal, but Van Persie insisted United’s £150m spending spree will pay its dividends and that he’s excited about playing with some world class players, such as Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao.