What is wrong with Manchester United?
Astounding. There are few other words, at least that can be published, to describe the scale of the capitulation that was witnessed at the King Power Stadium in Leicester. Boasting probably the best line up of attacking players at any club in the world, Manchester United were expected, quite rightly, to sweep aside the challenge of lowly Leicester. Falcao, Van Persie, Rooney and Di Maria all started for United. Perhaps the attacking strength is the core of the problem, as we saw at Liverpool last season, a failure to shore up the defence can leave a team prone. However, even Liverpool, despite their defensive problems last season, managed to finish as runners up in the League, so why are Man Utd struggling so badly?...surely they have an attacking line up far superior to the Suarez and Sturridge partnership which so often rescued Liverpool last term.
Having led 3-1 against Leicester, United should have closed out this game comfortably. Instead they fell to a jaw dropping 5-3 defeat. Take nothing away from Leicester City, who continued to snap at the United ankles, an ever present annoyance that never gave in. But to try to unravel the plane wreck that saw Leicester score five times against the behemoth that is United is beyond the comprehension of most. Perhaps they are missing the influence and discipline of the old master, Ferguson. Perhaps they just need time to settle. Perhaps, most worryingly, the confidence is gone. On a weekend when City and Chelsea both dropped two points, and both Liverpool and Tottenham lost, this was a golden opportunity for United to take advantage and make up some lost ground. The fact they didn't, and against Leicester City of all teams (no disrespect intended, but there will be bigger challenges ahead), is a huge worry.
Make no mistake, Van Gaal will be very concerned, and it will take all his managerial experience to get this juggernaut back on the road. (BM)