I usually bemoan a break for the International fixtures right at the start of the season, but this time I’m quite glad for it to have come around. Three games into the season, only two points registered, and playing a formation that clearly needs plenty of work on it, Louis van Gaal is probably pleased internally for the relief caused by the International games, as it will give him a chance to take stock of a busy yet productive transfer window.
If truth be told, most of us Reds couldn’t envisage the signing of Angel Di Maria, so by securing a year long loan deal for Radamel Falcao, and the very shrewd addition of the versatile Daley Blind, van Gaal will no doubt be looking to unleash his new signings at the next game vs QPR.
The break has also benefited Marcos Rojo in completing the required paperwork and clearance, in readiness to make his debut for the Reds.
Whatever the views of United’s recent high profile purchases, I’m sure with van Gaal’s proven track record of promoting youth wherever he has managed, the emphasis on keeping up to speed with the promotion of youth team players to the first team will not slow down, and I’d even say that it will help with their development.
To think Tyler Blackett will be training/playing alongside World Cup finalist Rojo and the well disciplined Blind, can only aid his development. James Wilson is another that will clearly benefit too, working closely with and learning from Rooney, van Persie and now Falcao, can only be something that a value can not be placed on.
I’m sure that in the coming weeks that the team will start to gel, it may take time, but in van Gaal we have a manager who commands respect and his press conferences certainly make you sit up and take note that when he says it will take time, to allow him that precisely.
I would not be in the slightest bit surprised if he changes the formation, and reverts to a back four, as the three at the back is something I think he should only revert to, once the understanding between the players develops and confidence returns.
The forward line is up for debate too, with many criticising Rooney, but I believe van Persie should not be excused from the criticism either, despite the fact he joined up late after his exploits in the World Cup. The arrival of Falcao should increase the competition for a place in the starting eleven, which can only be beneficial to the team as a whole. Falcao is the type of striker we have missed in the last couple of years, and his arrival excites me the same way Ruud van Nistelrooy’s did, safe in the knowledge that he is highly capable of finding the net, given half a chance, and I’m expecting Di Maria to assist in large proportions.
I believe the return from the International break will herald the second start to van Gaal’s reign, and will see a change in performances and results fairly soon. The rest of the League would have been somewhat shocked at the seismic signings made late on by van Gaal, now let’s hope that they are shocked by some breathtaking performances, something that has been missing for over a season or so.
Roll on the next game…
Written by Raman Paul. Follow him on Twitter.