Burnley 0-0 Manchester United: Di Maria’s debut ends with a draw

by Sam Peoples

Louis van Gaal‘s revolution will take time. Manchester United’s boss has reiterated on more than one occasion that what he is doing with United isn’t a quick fix, it will take time to blossom.

That was abundantly clear today again as United’s players didn’t particularly look like they knew what they were doing. Long balls were the preferred method meaning Juan Mata found himself isolated and the defence was at sixes and sevens when Burnley pushed forward with the ball.

Van Gaal has real self belief that his vision will succeed and he won’t be sidetracked by a few poor results.

Angel di Maria. All eyes were focused on Di Maria today and United’s record signing immediately looked at home in the Premier League.

Despite a slender frame, Di Maria showed fantastic strength in the tackle and his passing range was world class. One particular pass in the first half to Robin van Persie showed just what he is capable of.



Already, every time Di Maria receives the ball at his feet, excitement builds because there’s every chance he could pull something out of the hat.

It’s going to be really exciting to see how Di Maria develops this season.

Too many unforced errors in defence. United’s defenders are really struggling to adapt to playing three at the back.

There were so many unforced errors from United who insisted on playing it out from the back and we were lucky to not concede to Burnley as a consequence of one.

A dominant central midfielder is missing. Darren Fletcher isn’t capable of being a pivot midfielder for United. He struggled to contain Burnley and wasn’t able to dictate the play.

With Di Maria and Mata playing further up the pitch, this formation relies on a dominant midfielder who marshals the middle. Unfortunately, Fletcher isn’t capable of that.

Ander Herrera and Daley Blind would both be able to do a much better job than Fletcher in that position when available.

Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young are not wing-backs. Both Valencia and Young are average wingers but they are even worse wing-backs.

Injuries to Luke Shaw and Rafael might have left Van Gaal without his first-choice players but Reece James was impressive on tour. Surely he would be a better option.

Neither Young or Valencia should be anywhere near this starting XI. Young earned the opportunity for another chance with a great pre-season but he has failed to build on that.

Things will be different against QPR. The first international break of the season means there is two weeks until United’s next game, but it’s a well timed break for United.

Every player apart from Michael Carrick is expected to be fit for QPR, so Van Gaal will be able to put out his strongest XI.

It has been a shaky start to the season but there are 35 games to go and plenty of time for United to kick into gear.

Image: Twitter/peoplesperson_

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