Ever since his red card against Arsenal, Angel di Maria has found himself ostracised from Manchester United’s starting XI by Louis van Gaal.
His absence also coincided with Man United’s best form under van Gaal as prior to the loss against Chelsea, United had won six consecutive games since the Arsenal defeat and were playing some fantastic football.
Gary Neville didn’t think that was a coincidence and believes Di Maria’s red card was a turning point in United’s season.
It’s hard to argue otherwise. Di Maria’s absence allowed Juan Mata to come in at right-wing and the Spaniard has become one of United’s most influential players. Had Di Maria been available, there are no guarantees he would have been a regular in the starting XI.
What’s next for Di Maria? Van Gaal has stuck by his starting XI and as he said United’s performance against Chelsea was the best he has seen them play this season, it’s safe to say he is happy with how his players are currently doing.
It leaves Di Maria in limbo, waiting for the next opportunity to impress, but you get the feeling that all he needs is one confidence boosting moment for him to come out of his shell and re-capture the sort of form which made him so devastating earlier this year.