Well so far for us reds it’s been very quiet during the January transfer window. Will anything happen in the next few days or will we be looking to gain that 4th place with the squad we currently have? We have seen City buy a proven Premier League striker, Arsenal have strengthened, and Chelsea are seemingly about to sign Cuadrado who was supposedly a United target last summer.
When I look at the money United spent last summer, and what we got for it, I believe the board must have reservations about handing LVG an open cheque book. He signed 3 left-sided defensive players – Blind, Shaw and Rojo – but failed to sign a proven central defender or a right back, despite the obvious weaknesses in those positions. United overpaid by £10 million for Luke Shaw, and whilst Blind is a good player, he isn’t exactly the midfield enforcer we needed. We could have bought a proven Premier League player in Alex Song, who has played a massive role in West Ham’s success this season, and I am 100% convinced we would be sitting a lot prettier in the league right now with him at the centre of the team.
Buying Di Maria was the highlight of the summer spending – he had a great final season with Real Madrid and is a proven world class player. We probably again paid £10m more than we needed to, but what’s most concerning is that his impact has been significantly blunted under LVG, and many of us have been exasperated to see him played out of position regularly in the past few weeks.
Van Gaal bought Herrera for £30m, yet despite showing some real quality, he cannot seem to get in United’s team, and is not in the Spanish squad. So why did we spend £30m when we had already clearly overpaid for both Mata and Fellaini? In a nutshell, the players we have bought these past 18 months are pretty much all questionable signings, other than Shaw and Di Maria, and the prices we have paid are quite ridiculous.
In the past, when money was rolling in and we were winning titles with no danger of not qualifying for the Champions League, it wasn’t really an issue if we overpaid by a few million for a player we needed, but right now managing the finances is important, and spending over £200m on players that mostly wouldn’t walk into other top teams in the league is a real concern.
LVG suggested United had a totally unbalanced squad when he took over, yet if anything he has made it even more unbalanced, and his unusual emphasis on left-sided players hasn’t exactly helped.
Watching the team perform over the last few weeks has been nothing but a huge disappointment. The football is predictable, slow and too easy to defend against, as Cambridge showed last Friday night. Let’s not kid ourselves, Yeovil were not exactly struggling until Herrera hit that superb strike which, 9 times out of 10, wouldn’t have hit the target. We were lame against QPR, and I seriously cannot remember the last time I was properly excited watching a United performance.
We currently have a run of fixtures that are all winnable, starting with Leicester on Saturday. We need as many points as possible from now on; the team needs to get out of first gear and start playing in overdrive, moving defenders around the pitch, creating spaces, and making the opposing goalkeeper work! At the end of this run of seemingly easy fixtures, if we are not sitting in 3rd place, I think we can pretty much forget a top 4 finish for this season.
LVG hasn’t impressed me to date. I want him to succeed like all United fans, but I am far from convinced at this point that he is the best man to bring back our trophy. I do feel strongly that if he fails to get top 4, it will be time to cut our losses again, as he has made big errors in the transfer market and the football so far is dire. Do we give the same man another £100m+ to spend?