Shameful Form Continues for Baffled Manchester United
It’s one thing to stumble out of the English Premier League gates with a loss, which is what happened to Manchester United when they lost the first game of the season to Swansea City. Nerves, a new manager, heavy legs, and the recovery of many star players used in the 2014 World Cup was bound to take some time. It was even slightly understandable for Man U to draw Sunderland away from home. Sunderland is a tough team to play in front of their home fans, and away draws are very common even for the top EPL clubs. But to lose against a League One side MK Dons by 4 goals to nil in the Capital One Cup is an absolute shame. Here is a side known around the world as a major club, valued at nearly $3billion, losing to a club founded in 2004 that’s two full leagues below them….by 4 goals. In essence, it’s essentially the New York Yankees getting shut out by the Double-A Richmond Flying Squirrels…
Even more demoralizing for Manchester United fans is that combining the fact that they’ve now been booted from the first cup tournament of the season, with the realization of their first season without being involved in a European tournament since 1990, the Red Devils will not be playing very many soccer games this year!
All that remains is EPL games and the FA Cup, which doesn’t begin until next year. There will be lots of time hanging around during the week while manager Louis Van Gaal frets about, tinkering and toying with a side seemingly devoid of any inspiration.
In utter desperation (even before this most recent blunder), United went out and splurged $100million on Real Madrid’s Angel Di Maria, a creative winger certainly capable of helping the team. His arrival will definitely add a bit of spunk to the attack, but for me their problems are growing on the defensive side of the ball. With Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic having departed, players like Phil Jones, Johnny Evans, Chris Smalling, and new arrival Luke Shaw are manning the back. The early signs don’t bode well. They lack steel and confidence, evident on Jones’ horrendous pass that resulted in MK Dons’ opening goal.
This is something that must be resolved if Manchester United is going to contend for titles once again. In some manner, I think the players aren’t even the real problem. The issue is that this club lost its competitive fire the moment that Sir Alex Ferguson departed. Last season’s manager David Moyes couldn’t get the players to gel, and it is quite evident that Van Gaal has yet to manage the feat yet either. As it stands, Manchester United sit in 13th place with 1 point to their credit. They’ve already been eliminated from the one trophy that was within their grasp, and moans of despair have fully erupted.
What can a club of this stature do, just two years removed from lifting the Premiership trophy with essentially the same squad? Players like Wayne Rooney and Darren Fletcher need to step up in a big way. These are the leaders of the team on the field and they need to put some fight and urgency in the way they play. No one is scared to play Manchester United these days, and that needs to change in a hurry if the team wishes to avoid a cataclysmic drop in the English Premier League!