This observer can’t quite understand how Louis van Gaal is still the manager of Manchester United. How far the standards must have dropped at the club for the Dutchman’s record over the last 8 games – 4 defeats and 4 draws – to be deemed acceptable by the top brass.
We have been saying for weeks that the next game is a must win for Manchester United but even the home defeat to Norwich wasn’t enough to end the current manager’s reign.
But anything other than three points here and even someone as hesitant as Ed Woodward may have to act in order to force a positive change.
One plus has been that Manchester United are at least attempting to put an extra creator in the side of late to encourage more attacking football.
But Louis returned to two defensive midfielders against Chelsea and he will have liked what he saw from Basti and Schneiderlin. The latter certainly deserves another start and we would like to see the passing range of Carrick alongside him.
In general, the injuries are starting to clear up and Van Gaal can pick something resembling his strongest Manchester United XI.
But Lingard, Valencia and Shaw are definitely out while Rojo is doubtful.
You may think us mad to leave Mata out in favour of Memphis, whose form has been shocking.
But the youngster needs to be played through his teething troubles, just like Ronaldo was, rather than being left to rot on the bench and we remain convinced that he will become a top player, given more minutes on the pitch.
We also think that he is best suited to the right wing where he can keep things simple and use his pace to get crosses in with his stronger foot, leaving Martial to cause havoc on the left.
With all this in mind, here is our strongest Manchester United XI