Why Man United Need More Than An “Angel”
Just two games into the English Premier League and Manchester United are five points (synonymous to two competitive league games) behind league leaders Tottenham, Chelsea, Swansea and Manchester City.
It is official, Manchester United, who are in desperate need to stop the freefall that has befallen their season debut, has agreed to buy World Cup 2014 Argentine star Angel Di Maria from Real Madrid for an English record fee of £60 million.
When a top team struggles, it is mostly either due to philosophical deficiencies (ie who does what, when, where and how) or personnel problems (lack of quality players in certain key positions).
The worst scenario is when a team suffers from both deficiencies. Is that the case with Man United? Is it too early to know? And is the purchase of ‘Angel’ Di Maria enough to stop the freefall?
Just weeks ago as Man U marched on in style at their pre-season matches; few would have thought the present situation possible as they beat the likes of Real Madrid and Liverpool to win the pre-season US tournament.
Unfortunately, I feel the premature success at this pre-season tournament helped mask the vacuums and weaknesses in the Man U set-up and did not help hammer in early, the desperate need for personnel reinforcement.
The situation is far from unsolvable and, in fact, we should take caution in shouting ‘fire’ as we have seen teams that started the season with as much as nine points behind still come back to win it all!
So far Man United have lost points to relatively smaller teams (even though Swansea are joint firsts at the moment) and one cannot help but wonder how Louis Van Gaal’s wards will manage competition from the big guns like Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester City.
Angel Di Maria will definitely give them an extra bite up front; he is fast, technical, eliminates opponents with ease, takes on responsibility, is left-footed, scores goals and is physically good enough to effectively do attacking and defending duties on a world class level.He is also coming off one of the best periods in his career (Champions League success with Real Madrid and an exceptional World Cup in Brazil).
He is definitely worth every penny to a team like Man United who today, though they have one of the best coaches in the world in Louis Van Gaal, lack creativity.
However, unfortunately after losing top defenders like Vidic, Patrice Evra and Rio Ferdinand, Angel Di Maria’s arrival will not solve this defensive crisis that currently haunts Man U.
Defensively Man United are wanting and for a team to be top and dominant, it needs to have a very solid defensive framework, strong enough to not only withstand all kind of attacks thrown at them but inspire fear in the opponent. Enough fear to discourage attacks and give the whole team enough confidence to attack without fearing what happens when they lose possession. At the moment they fear!
Manchester United fans must be worried that they will have to one again relive the dreadful season that they had last season under David Moyes (albeit that some fans chanted “we want Moyes Back” as Man U drew with Sunderland at the weekend).
However, In Van Gaal they should be rest assured that they have a better manager than last season but let’s just hope that the marriage and his philosophy will work out…
Manchester United need to improve their personnel. They need to add more defenders to the Di Maria transfer and maybe tweak their defensive team philosophy to have a better network when not in possession.
Yes, Man U have both philosophical and personnel problems and that is a sign of disaster waiting to happen.
Angel Di Maria is here to strengthen Man United, but to run up the ladder in a hurry as Man United need to do, they need more than just this “Angel”!