Louis Van Gaal said he was “not shocked” by United’s abysmal capitulation against MK Dons in the Capital One Cup last night, as his team slumped to one of their most embarrassing defeats in over a decade.
Experimental though the line-up might have been with a few youngsters making their first team debut, United were still able to call upon David De Gea, Jonny Evans, Javier Hernandez, Danny Welbeck and, albeit briefly, Shinji Kagawa, but did not spare them the blushes of being thrashed by a League One side.
Manchester United have confirmed the signing of Angel Di Maria from Real Madrid for an initial fee of £59.7m plus add-ons.
The signing takes United’s summer spending to £130.7m with more additions expected before the transfer window closes next Monday.
Di Maria, one of the standout performers in this summers World Cup AND Man of the Match in the Champions League Final for Madrid back in May, becomes the most expensive player in British football history.
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.
Louis Van Gaal admitted Manchester United need more signings and revealed the team’s confidence was shattered by defeat in their opening game of the season against Swansea.
The Dutchman’s first Premier League game ended in a 2-1 defeat, with United showing all the familiar issues that had emerged last season, while a lack of signings and injuries forced Van Gaal’s hand into deploying players out of position, resulting in a lacklustre performance and a horrible start to the season.
Paul Scholes has described Louis Van Gaal as a “mad genius” and has claimed Manchester United will not win the league this season, as they haven’t strengthened their squad enough, compared to what their Premier League rivals have done.
The former United midfield maestro is confident the club have got the right man to steady the ship after a disastrous 12 months and towards a top four finish, but Scholes insists a title challenge is beyond the current squad’s capabilities, as they lack quality in midfield, despite the arrival of Ander Herrera.
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 has reiterated he’s unhappy with his current squad and has insisted Manchester United need to buy a world class winger this summer if they’re serious about returning to the levels expected of them.
United’s summer started in style with the arrivals of Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera but with just a week left until the start of the season the squad at Van Gaal’s disposal remains unbalanced and short of options, despite Ed Woodward’s bullish claims that United “had not budget” and could financially compete with the biggest teams in the world.
Tom Cleverley has vowed to prove his critics wrong this season, as he seeks to establish himself as a regular in Louis Van Gaal’s formation, after a troublesome campaign that saw him become a pantomime villain for the United supporters.
Cleverley’s dismal performances attracted strong criticism from section of United fans last season, while some England supporters went as far as setting up an online petition to prevent the 24-year-old from being selected in Roy Hodgson’s World Cup squad. Cleverley, however, has looked a better player under Van Gaal during United’s pre-season tour and is determined to silence the critics this season.