Manchester United might have spent £150m this summer, but Phil Neville believes they’ll need to spend almost as many if they’re to win the Premier League anytime soon.
Amid the cash they splashed on Angel Di Maria, Ander Herrera, Daley Blind and Radamel Falcao, United also secured two defenders, Marcos Rojo and Luke Shaw. The former hasn’t impressed so far, while the latter is yet to make his official debut for United, with Louis Van Gaal’s already limited defensive options further depleted by an injury crisis.
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.
Javier Hernandez has said that he left Manchester United because the club didn’t believe in him and he has embraced the opportunity of making the most of his season-long loan at Real Madrid.
Having played a pivotal role in United’s title-winning campaigns in 2011 and 2013, Hernandez fell out of favour under David Moyes last season, making only six starts before being shipped out on loan on transfer deadline day this summer.
In today’s press conference Louis Van Gaal confirmed that United would be happy to have Cristiano Ronaldo back at the club.
Though he remained coy on whether there would be an attempt to bring the Real Madrid forward to Old Trafford. The manager conceded that Ronaldo is the type of player he would want in his team.
Louis van Gaal can breathe a sigh of relief as his new signings propelled his squad towards a much needed first win of his Manchester United managerial career.
With players returning from injury, Marcos Rojo finally acquiring a work permit, Rademel Falcao and Daley Blind available for selection, questions arose regarding whether Van Gaal would stick with the 5-3-2 formation or adopt a new tactic to cater to the new signings. For the moment, Van Gaal reverted back to a four-man defence with Rafael and Rojo in the fullback position, while Evans and Blackett played centrally. In the middle, Van Gaal went with a diamond shape; Daley Blind was the sole pivot, Angel di Maria and Ander Herrera manned the flanks, with the latter returning from injuries, and Mata – whose inclusion came under question with the Falcao signing – was head of the diamond. Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie remained the two main strikers in a 4-4-2, meaning Falcao would make an appearance off the bench.
The rumours linking Cristiano Ronaldo with a return to Manchester United simply refuse to go away, as the Portuguese has apparently grown increasingly frustrated with life in Madrid and could leave the Bernabeu next summer.
Since leaving the club in the summer of 2009, Ronaldo has become an even better player than he was at United, scoring 256 goals in 251 appearances in all competitions for Real Madrid, but various reports have suggested that the 29-year-old is looking to engineer a move away from Madrid and back to United at the end of the season.
Rio Ferdinand has hit out at David Moyes for trying to impose a vision on United, despite the Scotsman, who was also lambasted for adopting “embarrassing” tactics, himself not being too clear about the plan.
Ferdinand returned to Old Trafford on Sunday after leaving the club on a free transfer in the summer, having brought a 10-year career at United to an end in disappointing fashion as the club endured an absolute nightmare of a season under the former Everton manager, who was criticised by Ferdinand for creating a “bad vibe”.