After spending as much as they seemingly could on high profile transfers once again this summer, Manchester United certainly look to have benefitted from the immediate arrival of their latest signings. With his side currently residing at the top of the Premier League table as things stand, Louis van Gaal must be a very happy man going into this weekend’s fixture with the Gunners.
From the likes of Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin holding it down for their team in the middle of the park, new-boy Matteo Darmian so far proving one of the shrewdest buys across the entire transfer window – and of course Old Trafford’s latest striking sensation in the form of young French attacker, Anthony Martial, impressively producing the goods thus far – the Red Devils are clearly in a good place right now.
However, although the 2015/16 campaign has most definitely begun in strong form for LVG’s side, a large portion of the season obviously remains to be played. Anything could still go wrong for the high flying Premier League club as they look to finally reassert their dominance back among the English top-flight.
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So with the fate of the Red Devils somewhat up in the air at this current stage – is now the time for celebration within the ever passionate Old Trafford faithful, or should Manchester United fans ultimately be keeping their feet firmly rooted on solid ground for now…
If the opening stages of the 2015/16 campaign have taught us anything so far, surely it would be to remain sensible in the face of apparent sensation and new-found expectations. Many prominent voices within the footballing community itself labelled Chelsea as strong favourites to re-claim their title once again this season – and although such an outcome still resides on the table for Jose Mourinho and his expensively assembled Blues outfit – their current lowly position in the league table seemingly suggests otherwise.
The same line of thinking can also be applied to the recent fate of rivals, Manchester City. Just a few short weeks ago, everybody surrounding the Beautiful Game declared Manuel Pellegrini’s side as the only stand-out candidates to rise up and fill the void left by Chelsea at the top of the table. Sporting an attacking line-up of Raheem Sterling, David Silva, Kevin de Bruyne, Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero, it previously seemed obvious that City would control the reigns this season.
As life among the English top-flight nonetheless serves to surprise us all somewhat with every passing league campaign however, such a once predictable outcome seems to have hit a few snags in recent outings. Manchester City now look somewhat lacking in ideas across their entire starting XI, leaving the ready and willing Manchester United to leapfrog their local neighbours whilst the opportunity was available.
The Old Trafford faithful must therefore remain grounded at this early stage in the 2015/16 campaign, for a few clear problems nonetheless ring true within Louis van Gaal’s desired starting XI. Whilst the likes of Chris Smalling, Daley Blind, Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones may have impressed since first arriving at Manchester United, no single pairing between those four defenders represents a strong enough centre-back partnership.
Louis van Gaal should have arguably sourced himself further defensive recruitments this summer, as even though his current players have taken to their 2015/16 duties relatively well, their current form isn’t likely to continue throughout the entire season. Without that extra layer of experience propping up the Red Devils back-four, problems will potentially develop somewhere down the line once the heat inevitably gets turned up a notch or two.
Manchester United’s current squad also arguably fails to represent enough strength in depth to make it through the whole domestic term unscathed, let alone the Champions League as well. If Anthony Martial gets injured – LVG is stranded in the striking department. The Dutchman’s reliance on Marouane Fellaini doesn’t bode too well in regards to the club’s designated ‘Plan B’ – and even though he has certainly proved a shining light for his manager in recent seasons – surely Michael Carrick can’t keep turning out the performances in the middle of the park at 34-years-old?
Due to David de Gea’s failure to complete his widely anticipated move to Real Madrid this summer, the only area well provided for at Old Trafford this season seems to be the goal-keeping position.
As Premier League football remains as fickle and as changeable as it ever has done in the modern era, now is no time for Manchester United fans to start getting carried away with their team’s strong – yet by no means amazing – start to the 2015/16 campaign.