I have spent the past week complaining about Danny Welbeck’s exit from Old Trafford and in one sentence (uttered in a recent press conference) Louis Van Gaal demonstrated why he is the manager of Manchester United Football Club, and not me.
When again challenged about Welbeck’s departure the Dutchman pointed out that 27 goals in 141 games does not compare as well as say Wayne Rooney or Robin Van Persie. So, a lack of goals was, apparently, van Gaal’s primary reason for allowing Welbeck to leave the club and on that logic I can’t fault him.
From value for money point of view that is not a great return from a top level striker and selling him for £16 Million looks like good business. To those, myself included, who said he did not have enough time at the club to prove himself, he had 141 games up front for the Red Devils! I can’t believe I had not looked at it from that point of view. I, like so many, got caught up in the time he had been with the club and I think as well was harking back to the days of our great youth products. Let’s be honest, 141 games is much more than most players would get to prove themselves at such a big club. In fact, it was more the David Moyes was given to prove himself.
So far, since his summer arrival, Van Gaal has sold 12 (yes twelve) and bought in an additional 6 players to the squad. The remaining 6 squad places are, he went on to explain, for youth and to be fair to the Dutchman he has certainly been playing United’s youth players quite consistently these past few weeks.
But what of the players he has has brought in? Shaw had a great season with Southampton and is a precocious talent but United will be a real footballing test for him. Dutch international Daley Blind’s (son of Dutch legend Danny Blind) record speaks for its self and he is only 24 years old whilst fellow new comer and Argentine international Rojo (also 24) looks like a capable player with confidence on the ball. Falco has an impressive goal scoring record and with United stealing arguably Real Madrid’s best player in Di Maria… the future of United’s attack does look rather impressive. However, despite some impressive buys, the former Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss has told fans not to expect an instant change of fortune in results.
The QPR game on Sunday is now of high importance and van Gaal could have four players making their United debuts. If he does not win the game against a team in last year’s championship race, despite QPR spending some money and having United old boy Rio Ferdinand in the squad, major questions will be asked of Van Gaal’s ability to turn the clubs fortunes around. Though, on the other hand, if we lose to QPR then confidence will drop further, which is never a good thing.
So, what of the United Way? Well, so far the team have been competing with teams they would traditionally put to the sword; certainly, during Sir Alex Ferguson’s reign the likes of Swansea, Burnley and QPR would not be a worry. Either way, I anticipate we will find our form against QPR and I can see a 3-0 demolition with a lot of new players keen to make their mark in the red shirt.