Some, perhaps many, believe that whatever Manchester United try at this point they are in a terminal decline.
While it’s true that United are in a critical period of their history they have just broken their transfer record to bring one of the best ten players in the world to the club. The fact that Manchester United can afford him, and the fact that he wants to come, shows that the club is far from crisis.
But what puts Manchester United in an immeasurably better position than last season is that they now have a genius at the helm. Someone who knows precisely what he’s doing and how to do it.
When Louis van Gaal joined Bayern Munich he acquired the talents of Ribery and Robben – two players who have embodied Bayern’s success over the last 5 years and, without whom, they would not have won the Champions League a year ago.
And he’s doing the same thing at United. Many onlookers think that the signing of Di Maria doesn’t address the problems that Manchester United have in defence or midfield. But the reason that United’s defence has been under so much scrutiny over the last year or so is because the team hasn’t had the forward players to do the damage at the other end. Hence United’s defence has been under greater pressure than ever – the team spends more time defending because it can’t frighten the opposition and put them on the back foot with its offensive players.
Di Maria is the first major addition to redress the balance. Expect a player of similar pace and quality to come into the wide right position – Adnan Januzaj may be that man – but either way Manchester United will have an altogether more frightening look about them in 12 months time – even by Christmas.
Noone ever waxes lyrical about the defensive capabilities of Real Madrid or Barcelona. That’s because they are so good going forward that there is little to no focus on the back 5. Manchester United have bought 2 top defenders in Rojo and Shaw. But it’s in the positions further forward that Van Gaal will continue to rebuild United as a frightening attacking force.
Fear Not. United will finish top four and Louis knows exactly what he’s doing. United are far from finished. Heck, they are at the beginning of another great era at home and in Europe.
During his press conference on Friday he was asked if he has doubted his system and processes after a poor start to the season. He laughed gleefully and answered with great confidence ‘No’. The confidence speaks volumes.
In Louis United fans must trust.
Manchester United fans: do you still have complete faith in Van Gaal?