Well our worst fear has happened, and United lost their home opener Saturday 1-2 against Swansea City. The match was a tough loss, and many of the players performance’s showed us that they either need work, or that maybe it’s time to sell them.
Yesterday’s loss was fairly unexpected, and it resulted in another cry out from random United supporters calling for Van Gaal to be fired on social media.
As much as it can be understood that this loss was unacceptable, we should also remember that it was the first match of the Premier League season. We should also take into account the injuries (6 players unavailable + Van Persie being rested) which included top choice defenders Luke Shaw and Johnny Evans, midfielders Michael Carrick, Antonio Valencia, and Anderson, as well as attacker Danny Welbeck. The only two to have an expected return date are Carrick and Shaw, both being around a month away from return. These players were used heavily during the US tour and were some of the top players on the summer squad. Their loss is a big blow to Van Gaal’s plans who will most likely have to buy again before the transfer window shuts at the end of this month, however it seems as though there are problems at Old Trafford, where Ed Woodward seems to have lost the magic we saw earlier this summer with the two signings of Shaw and Herrara in two consecutive days. Fans were hoping that was the start of a big list of purchases but right after that things fizzled out and United have seen more players leaving then entering.
On Twitter it appeared as though fans were angry directly at Van Gaal instead of the players. While it is okay to be disappointed, the blame will have to go to the team as a whole. Many players’ flaws showed on Saturday, and some of them look like they might not belong at United anymore. Javier Hernandez gave a poor display with a lack of energy and motivation, as well as floppy play all around. Fellaini also was a liability with a similar showing as Hernandez, indicating those could be the next two players to leave Old Trafford.
Wayne Rooney played exceptionally well for his position, but as for the captain role it seems as though he still has a lot to learn. Communication (Or Lack Thereof) seemed to be the issue for most of the match. While passing was good, the finishes were poor and crosses were sent poorly and sometimes in the wrong direction. The captain should be in charge of keeping the team on the same page, and Rooney failed to do that. This is not to say he shouldn’t be captain, he just has a little learning to do. Practice makes perfect.
On the positive side, the first team debuts of Tyler Blackett and Jesse Lingard gave us something to look forward too. Both players showed heart and a strong desire to learn and develop as players. While Lingard suffered an unfortunate injury that had him subbed off for Adnan Januzaj in the 1st half, Lingard showed heart when after his injury he attempted to play after, and lasted a few minutes before Adnan took over. Blackett made many plays that while needed work, showed great prospect for a player so young. Those are two players to watch for this season.
While today’s loss was a rough one, we have to see the difference’s between Moyes and Van Gaal. Van Gaal has the backing of the United squad, the players seem to like him and are happy to play for him. Moyes lacked the support of former players like Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes, whose influences on the team extend off the pitch where the legends are looked up to and respected by the current player’s, a lot more than Moyes or Van Gaal would be early on in their time here. Van Gaal will need time to mold the team to his liking. REMEMBER, he’s the one cleaning up the messes from last year, it could be a long time before that damage is controlled, and Van Gaal is probably the only one capable of fixing our problems.