CHRIS WADDLE tore into Manchester United after they were dumped out of the Europa League by Liverpool.
The Red Devils now seem certain to miss out on Champions League football next season, while, if they lose at West Ham in their FA Cup replay, it will be three seasons since they won any silverware.
Now a TV pundit, former England star Waddles said:
“Manchester United have always had a system; your centre forward scores his goals and holds the ball up well, two wingers where you thought pace and two lads in midfield who were solid but who could play.
“Now, they sign players and think ‘where will we play him?”
Waddle is spot-on. United’s transfer dealings since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013 have been abject. Even when they have brought in players of genuine quality they’ve managed to turn them into flops.
How United fans must wince at the sight of Angel Di Maria turning it on week in, week out for Paris St Germain after he was wasted at United by continually being played out of position during a forgettable season.
The Argentinian was tailor-made for the Red Devils yet by the end of his time at Old Trafford he’d become almost a liability, frustrated at being unable to fully express himself under Louis van Gaal’s rigid and inflexible system.
Van Gaal has been hampered by a lengthy injury list since he took charge but even so, he continues to play players out of their best positions.
The Dutchman frequently talks of his ‘philosophy’ but there is no direction, no purpose to much of United’s play – as Waddle says, they have no identity.
For too long now it has been a case of square pegs in round holes. For years United played a certain way, an attacking exciting brand of football. This was the ‘United way’ and it was successful.
The Red Devils of today are stumbling along, taking two steps backwards for every one forward. They are unrecognisable from the great sides of the past.