Two wins from six games would have been viewed as disastrous at Manchester United through much of the last 20 years. But in this ‘transitional period’ the Red Devils are in a very different place, in which a narrow 2-1 home win of West Ham is actually now viewed with positivity.
All mocking aside, United really do have lots to be cheery about after the weekend’s result, with things beginning to look up after almost 18 months of frustration. Louis van Gaal is now on board which has put the memory of David Moyes to bed, while the squad contains some of the world’s very best attacking players.
So, does the season start here for the club? Here are FIVE reasons it may…
[ffcvideo file=”TopFiveVideosoftheWeek” type=”mp4″]
With such a drastic spend and a major overhaul during the summer, the adjustment time at United was always likely to be significant. And, as predicted by many, the Red Devils have been a little off of the pace in the early weeks of the season, with the wealth of attacking and midfield talent at Louis van Gaal’s disposal all vying for places in the XI.
After a few shock results the win against West Ham was much needed, and although it took some huffing and puffing, the Red Devils looked bright for some chunks of the game. Players settling in? Looks like it.
Rooney’s moment of madness against the Hammers could actually be of benefit to United in the coming weeks. After a gentle run of fixtures, LVG’s men now face Everton and Chelsea in their coming three games, whom will provide stern tests. With Rooney out of the equation, Van Gaal could opt for a more stable and defensively sound XI, perhaps with a more orthodox midfield player slotting in in the place of the skipper behind Radamel Falcao and Robin van Persie.
The Dutchman said at the start of his reign that his methods and ideas would take some time to garner results. Scorelines and narratives at the club have generally been far from positive so far, but with each training session and week the messages will be sinking in.
Van Gaal is no fool either, His spell at Bayern Munich was not dissimilar, but the outspoken manager turned things around and is widely seen as one of the Bavarians’ best ever managers.
While United have only the Premier League to focus on until the FA Cup kicks in in January, their major rivals are all busy balancing the Capital One Cup and Champions League/Europa League as well. Liverpool proved last season that fewer fixtures can be the springboard for impressive results, so United must use the situation to their advantage.
January may be a while away yet, but reports are already suggesting that United may wade into the transfer market once again. LVG oversaw a £150m spend during the summer, but money is still available with defensive additions needed.
Kevin Strootman of Roma is already being mooted as a target, while possible moves of Mats Hummels, Nicolas Otamendi and Angelo Ogbonna have also made the headlines. A few choice additions could sort out United’s obvious deficiencies.