Louis van Gaal took over the Red of Manchester after a disastrous season under David Moyes. The Dutch manager took the team to the 4th position in the League last season and has slowly built a formidable unit at Old Trafford. He has depth and diversity in different departments on the field and ha started the new season of the Premier League positively.
Manchester United made some serious business in the summer bringing in the likes of Bastian Schweinsteiger, Morgan Schneiderlin, Anthony Martial, Memphis Depay and Luke Shaw who have all already contributed at the club one way or the other. From the outside, the squad looks to be one of the best in Europe.
They started that way when they beat Tottenham in a complete performance on the opening day of the season. Since then, United have just lost two games one against Swansea and one against Arsenal. They have drawn 3 other games and are in the 4th position with 24 points just two behind leaders Manchester City and Arsenal.
But the overall season so far has not been as rosy for the manager as the team has often struggled to score even against average teams. They have been able to score just 17 goals, the lowest in the top 6 and have been shaky at times at the back. But the biggest positives out of this season have been the form of Chris Smalling at the back and Martial in the attack.
Smalling who has not been a first choice centre back in the 5 years he has been with the club has been a calm presence in the middle of the defense for United. He has been exceptional with his positional awareness and aerial domination. He also breaks up play and sets his team up on attacks which is something van Gaal loves his teams to do.
Martial, on the other hand, has been a revelation from the time he played for the club. His first goal, Henry style, against Liverpool announced his entry into the league and he has since been one of the most positive players for United. The biggest disappointment, however, have been the performances of Depay and Rooney in the attack.
Depay started the season well but is lacking any kind of spark off late. The last few games, van Gaal has preferred Lingaard to Depay who has already given them the dividends with a goal against WBA last week. Rooney, the club skipper has also lost his touch and his instinct of scoring goals. These problems need to be addressed if United want to launch a serious title challenge this season.
Next 5 Games:
Watford (A); Leicester (A); West Ham (H); AFC Bournemouth (A); Norwich (H)
The biggest fixtures for United in this list are the games against Leicester and West Ham. United are yet to play Chelsea, but Leicester City have been a force to reckon with this season. They are in the 3rd spot with 25 points and have lost just one game so far this season. West Ham are 6th with 21 points and have already beaten Arsenal, Liverpool and City in their back yard.
United will want to go into the festive season with some wins on their back and if they are able to reach the start of Next Year with-out losing too many points, the Title dream is well and truly on for the Old Trafford faithful. Van Gaal should work on making his team more confident and also try and increase the quality of football in the final third which will surely give United a fair chance to lift the trophy in more than a couple of years.
Do you think United and Van Gaal can de-rail the other teams in the league to win the Barclays Premier League trophy in 2015-16?
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