The reign of Louis van Gaal was supposed to signify a move in the right direction for the club after a supposedly abysmal period under the Scottish manager David Moyes.
Even with over a 100 million pounds spent on reinforcements this season, Manchester United are languishing in 7th place on the log after 2 losses and 2 draws in 6 games.
Things seem bleak for the Manchester side as their early season form leaves them far short of their season aspiration of a top 4 finish. Furthermore, clubs like Everton and Spurs seem better placed to achieve a Champions league place.
United will be looking to avoid the example of Liverpool who fell out of contention for top 4 places for a number of years before finally returning last year into the top 4 and almost won the title. The Manchester united brand will surely suffer if they are out of the spot light for far too long.
A major factor in the abysmal form of the red devils has been the loss of players to injury so early in the season. In a run of matches that has seen Van Gaal record a poorer start than Moyes, the United boss has had to look to the academy to help combat what is definitely a defensive crisis.
Manchester United were without nine injured players for the West ham game and have the added problem of captain Wayne Rooney being forced to miss their next 3 matches due to suspension.
With a game against Everton being the next fixture, United will see the return of youngster Blackett to the starting line up after serving his one match ban against West Ham.
Other players are sidelined for a longer period; Phil Jones is supposedly out till October while Michael Carrick is still recovering from an ankle injury.
Another injury reared its ugly head after United’s clash with West ham after new signing Ander Herrera suffered a fractured rib during Saturday’s encounter and is set to miss out on the action for 3 weeks.
United confirmed the injury of their 28 million pounds signing in an official statement on their website;
“Manchester united midfielder Ander Herrera sustained a fracture rib during the match against West ham united on Saturday. The Spaniard was substituted in the 74th minute and the club will continue to monitor his progress over the next few weeks”
This injury is the latest in the baffling trend this season as players seem to be dropping like flies. United will be regretting their mistake of failing to invest in their defense in the outgoing transfer window, after the departures of the captain of the side Vidic and the Englishman Rio Ferdinand.
Buying one more natural center back and a hybrid in the likes of Ivanovic, who can as well deputize competently in the full back or wing back positions will go a long way in steadying the ship. A defensive anchorman will also be needed, although Fletcher can still serve as adequate cover.
As long as Manchester United reinforces its defense in January, it should go on to at least compete for top 4 places.