The Real Issues at Manchester United
Many have already witnessed Manchester United's Premier League double defeat to Garry Monk's Swansea City on the weekend, 2-1. The Swans also began their campaign against Manchester United at Old Trafford and defeated the Red Devils, 1-2 (Déjà Vú, eh).
The Red Devils traveled to Wales on the weekend and like their prior game United were defeated by Swansea. The facts to this game speak loud and clear on how Louis Van Gaal's side's failure to adapt to adversity. Manchester United was able to dominate possession during the game 64% to Swansea City's 36%.
Manchester United had a total of 18 shots of which only three of them were on target, forcing two saves from Swansea's Lukasz Fabianski. Ander Herrera was able to find the back of the net first for Manchester United in the 28th minute putting the Red Devils in the lead, 1-0. The real issues at Manchester United began to show immediately after the first goal.
Two minutes after United took the lead Swansea City would equalize through Sung-Yueng Ki at the 30-minute mark. After the halftime whistle saw Van Gaal make his first change of the match, bringing on Antonio Valencia for Patrick McNair. The change was obvious as the Reds needed to add some extra width and pace to their attacks down the Swans' right flank.
The next move came also came from Louis Van Gaal at the 58th minute when Ashley Young replaced Luke Shaw. Well then its simple United were defeated by adding too much width to their left and right flanks by substituting Valencia and Young in for McNair and Shaw. WRONG!!!!
The second goal for Swansea came off a ridiculous shot from Jonjo Shelvey, which was deflected into David De Gea's net by Bafetimbi Gomis in the 73rd minute.
After Swansea scored in the 73rd minute Louis Van Gaal threw on his final sub in his best efforts to salvage a point from the match. Juan Mata would come on in the final eleven minutes of the game for Angel Di Maria. After the final whistle Swansea City walked away with three points and United hopefully walked away with a hard lesson.
Even when you go down to a "fluke" goal in the final stages of the game taking 18 shots and only having three of them on target means you did not have any quality in front of goal. Swansea City on the other hand only had 11 shots total but more than 50% of those shots were on target, six. David De Gea indeed had to make four saves at the Liberty Stadium.
If David De Gea is the stand out player in the match, other than talking about said goalkeepers skill perhaps many questions should be asked of his defense. The absence of a real leader among the Manchester United back four or three is more than evident now.
The lack of a defensive leader is not the only noticeable problem among the Red Devils. The lack of a consistent goal scorer is beginning to show its merits or lack there of. The current leading goal scorer at United is Robin van Persie with ten goals.
After playing a total 26 league matches the Red Devils top scorer in all campaigns barely has a total into double digits. The problem really is not a lack of personnel due to the fact that Radamel Falcao, Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney are some of the world's most reputable goal scorers.
Granted now Wayne Rooney is spending the majority of his playing time now in the midfield.
Perhaps now might be the right time to position Rooney back into a forward role and allow one of the other midfield fighters United have to battle it out in the middle of the park.