After crashing back down to earth this weekend Manchester United fans are now wondering if life wasn’t so bad under David Moyes after all.
United looked to have finally arrived after the 4-0 thrashing of QPR last week, but the dismal defending that saw the Red Devils lose 5-3 to Leicester shows that the Hoops win was as much to do with the toothless display from Harry Redknapp’s men as it was United’s improved attacking play.
There is still belief that Louis van Gaal is a better fit for the Old Trafford club than his predecessor, but United will have to improve, and quickly, if such faith is be repaid.
After an unbeaten pre-seaso and not suffering the same intense post-Alex Ferguson pressure as Moyes, LVG was expected to make the most of a gentle introduction to life in the Premier League.
The arrivals of Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera in time for kick off, plus the January arrival of Juan Mata, meant the Dutchman had much more at his disposal than Moyes to start his Old Trafford reign.
Van Gaal has since added a British transfer record signing in Angel Di Maria, a World Cup finalist in Marcos Rojo, steel to his defensive quarters in Daley Blind and one of world football’s deadliest strikers in Radamel Falcao.
But still United were better off at this point last season under Moyes than they are this year.
The Red Devils currently have just one win and five points having played Swansea, Sunderland and promoted trio Burnley, QPR and Leicester.
Last season they had seven points and had fixtures against Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City under their belt.
United’s attacking play since the close of the transfer window has been spectacular, with seven goals scored in two games.
However, the Leicester game has highlighted the already widely regarded fact that the defence is in great need of reinforcement.
If Leicester can turn five shots into five goals against the likes of Rojo, Tyler Blackett, Jonny Evans and Rafael, who knows what Everton, Chelsea and Manchester City – three of United’s next five opponents – could do.
Even with Chris Smalling and Phil Jones due back from injury the United defence looks light and January could be too late for any new players to make a difference.
Van Gaal has stated that it will take time for his side to click but if a top four finish is to be delivered – a result currently priced at 7/10 – stark defensive improvements are required – and quick!
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