Soccer is a brutal game. You can play your best, have a dominating performance and come out the wrong side of a 1-0 result. This was the fate of Manchester United this past weekend and Van Gaal did not hold back his frustration in the post-game interview below.
Proud and frustrated is a tough way to win the league but United look poised to secure a Champions League spot, something we would not have been talking about around Christmas time.
I’d like to sit here and make a factual statement, “The Bundesliga is more exciting to watch than the Premier League.” (ok, not all that factual but still a valid opinion) GOALS ON GOALS ON GOALS. Let’s run through a few to start continue to help facilitate your drooling stupor on this lovely Monday:
Suarez continues to show that he is World Class: He takes his bike to work
Even Giroud showed a touch of class: Left magic roofed volley
Zlatan was a judo champion: Exhibit A
Robben is fast, Bayern wins 8-0: His technique is ridiculous
Dost was on another planet on Saturday (4 goals):
This is ridiculous
Last second winner
In other news:
Cristian Ronaldo still knows how to hurt people’s ankles: Elastico Nutmeg anyone?
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has a soul. He sports temporary tattoos that are names of children that are going hungry as past of his campaign with World Food Program
Messi equals most hattricks eve in the history of Spanish football (Legend)
West Brom made West Ham look mediocre at best
Stoke also got the run around from Blackburn
Lastly, Preston North End hosts Manchester United in the FA Cup today….United will need to stop this:
Everyone knows him. Even a generation past this legend’s playing days, Nike brought him back for a few excellently done ad campaigns. See below:
When the collar was up and he was on the field, any kind of magic was possible. This magic could be positive or negative. You could say that many younger people might know him only for his excellent handle of kung-fu and his ability to fly into the stands in a fit of rage. See below:
Or if you’re not into real people…
Either way, Cantona was quite a polarizing figure. The Frenchman was not great at going with the flow and always seemed to be in some kind of rift. The bookends of his club career, Auxerre at the start and Manchester United at the close, were the longest stays of his soccer life, both just lasting five seasons. In between, he was unable to settle in both on and off the field. One moment in particular that sticks out is his first retirement from soccer in 1991. Cantona was upset with how a committee was suspending him throwing the ball at the referee. After telling each member that he was an idiot, his suspension was increased to two months and subsequently, Cantona retired from the game.
Michel Platini was the French National Team coach at the time and convinced Cantona to come out of retirement and continue his career.
And then came Manchester United. Four titles in five years and it all might never have happened. After the kung fu kick, Cantona was stuck amidst rumors that he would leave English football for good. Luckily, Sir Alex Ferguson convinced him otherwise and King Eric went on to be United captain and lead the Red Devils to two more titles.
You will not find a more polarizing character with the touch of class that Cantona had. On the field, a fleeting moment was more like a generation for him and in that time his ability to create and score goals was immense. Who knows where United would have ended up without him?
Sir Alex Ferguson’s full length Christmas day interview
He talks about Fergie time, Louis Van Gaal & developing players
Sir Alex Ferguson has earned everyone’s respect no matter whether people like him or not. You can’t argue against his success despite what you may think of his coaching style. However, everyone knows he planned his exit at the right time. Manchester United was on the verge of getting overtaken by Chelsea and Manchester City and Sir Alex wanted to go out on top. Can’t blame him for that.
If you had to choose one video that proved Manchester United’s defensive frailties so far this season it would be this one. Sunday morning I was warming up for my soccer game and one of my teammates told me Leicester City was winning 5-3 against Manchester United. I was dumbfounded. How could a team like Manchester United give up 5 goals to Leicester City? Sure, Manchester United haven’t been great this season but giving up 5 goals to a team like Leicester City was crazy to me. After watching this clip it all makes sense. The back 3 system Van Gaal is using is a failure and the personnel making up that back 3 are terrible. This clip proves it.
h/t The Original Winger
It is one thing to overpay for a 48 oz steak or for an intricate woven sock comprised of the finest silk in the world. It is another to overpay for a footballer whose only guaranteed return is increased jersey sales and maybe a few more season ticket holders. Check out the article below to see some landmarks of the British transfer fee over the past 125 years. Something tells me that the last two record breakers have not exactly achieved the way they were expected to. *Cough*Cough* Fernando Torres and Andy Carroll. I hope Di Maria can break the English curse on the most expensive man in the league!
Check out the infographic below and click it to check out the full article courtesy of BBC Sport.
It is one thing to lose your first league home opener in the past 42 years.
Just in case you forgot some of the fun:
It’s another to draw your next game in an inglorious fashion.
It is completely different and borderline unacceptable for a team as “mighty” as Manchester United to get played off the park by a League One team. MK Dons taught Manchester United a lesson. In front of a sold out home crowd of 29,000+ the Dons found a 4-0 win against a Manchester United side that looked eerily mediocre and stoic. You can argue that United played a bunch of young players that were incapable of handling the pressure or the task at hand. You can argue that the new system is taking longer than expected to shine through. The best argument is that United just were not good enough. They looked lifeless, as if MK Dons was the team with massive reputation and payroll. Sometimes it is easy to be the underdog; there is no pressure or expectations and any success is a lucky benefit. This time, MK Dons, whose total payroll of 235,000 euros (Rooney is on 500,000/week) found a result and a dominant one at that!
So the question becomes, is this humiliating enough? Or is United destined for greater shortcomings before they return to greatness. You look at the transfers in this summer and it seems that the defensive posture needed in Van Gaal’s system has largely been forgotten. Herrera and Di Maria are the biggest signings of the summer but offer no solidarity to a defense that couldn’t stop my U12 team from getting chances. We must wonder what is going on in Manchester? Three in the back requires some incredible athleticism and excellent 1 v 1 defending. Does Manchester United have that back there? No. And the club continues to pursue attacking options and that would be fine if United scored four goals a game. Alas, the struggles are on both ends and the signs of improvement and progress are limited at best.
All is not lost though. The next three fixtures for United are quite favorable with the likes of Burnley, QPR and Leicester City on the docket. It is almost like the league knew United would need to be bailed out from its struggles so it could once again compete for something. If United get 7 points out of these three games, this could be an early turning point in the season to hopefully instill a bit of confidence in the group. It does not matter that two of these games are on the road. If you are Manchester United, you need results and you need them now. I am not a Manchester United fanboy but I do appreciate when the big clubs stick to a system and find a way to success, so I hope, and I know all Manchester United fans hope, that Van Gaal and company figure themselves out sooner rather than later. It would be some travesty to see one of the biggest clubs in the world find itself in the Championship division next year!