While Manchester United may be experiencing a minor injury crisis and there’s still time to go in the transfer window, the early signs are very worrying for the club. The squad looks worse than last season as van Gaal seeks to jam square pegs into various round holes. While getting a result against United is clearly not the scalp it used to be, Gus Poyet must be pleased with his side’s performance, in particular with new signings of Buckley and Rodwell.
Here are the THREE Things We Learned From Sunderland v Man United:
Many have concentrated on the quality, or lack thereof, of United’s players over the summer and the need to bring in better ones, but the most striking problem at Old Trafford is the lack of depth. Without Carrick and Herrera Man United’s midfield is threadbare and it’s telling that an injury to Chris Smalling left United playing a back three of Blackett, Keane and Jones. While Manchester United may want players of the highest quality, what they really need right now is some players at all.
Ah, big Michael Keane coming off the bench for United. Truly a wealth of depth in this United squad.
— Simon (@PhantomGoal) August 24, 2014
United don't even have the depth they used to have. They let Evra, Ferdinand and Vidic leave and have brought nobody in = Keane and Blackett
— tesc (@tesc_) August 24, 2014
A back three of Jones-Keane-Blackett, regardless of injuries, is nowhere near the level that United should be fielding! Lack of depth! #MUFC
— Matthew Hewitt (@Mattyhewitt92) August 24, 2014
Many may take the performance of Sunderland’s £2.5m signing from Brighton as a sign of how far Manchester United have fallen but that is to do Will Buckley a disservice. The winger was a constant threat on Sunderland’s right-hand-side, and based on this performance, should do fine in the Premier League.
Will Buckley best player on the pitch
— Robbie Savage (@RobbieSavage8) August 24, 2014
Will Buckley has completed 5 take-ons so far today; more than Mata, Rooney, Valencia & Young combined (3). pic.twitter.com/9W84AbBADt
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) August 24, 2014
Will Buckley creates corner, Sunderland scores. Difference maker.
— Devang Desai (@DesaiDevang) August 24, 2014
Ashley Young is not a wing-back and Louis van Gaal is not a magician. While we knew both theses things already there was a sense over the summer that the Dutch manager had the coaching equivalent of the Philosopher’s Stone.
United need Shaw back on the left-hand-side of their defence. And quick.
The Greatest trick the devil did was convincing us that Ashley Young is a improved player
— Semper Fi : United (@SemperFiUnited) August 24, 2014
Ashley Young's RB button is permanently stuck.
— Manchester United (@ManUnitedWorld) August 24, 2014
We shud consider paying a club to take Ashley Young on a permanent Deal…
— Yves Sensei™ (@Maestro_kelz) August 24, 2014