A little over a month ago, I wrote about how Manchester United needed to part ways with manager Louis van Gaal. Despite a much improved 2014-15 campaign, United has struggled over the past couple of months, dropping out of the Champions League and the top four in the Premiere League.
Since that post, things haven’t gotten much better. Sure, the Red Devils pulled out a win over the weekend at Liverpool, but it came after getting one shot on goal — a lucky strike from Wayne Rooney at that — and some solid goalkeeping from David De Gea. And losses to Norwich City and Stoke look very embarrassing.
The simple fact of it all is that this team needs help and it needs help fast. Rooney is great and all, but he can’t do it himself. And De Gea will need a much better defense if he’s going to keep them in matches. Having just one or two or three great players isn’t enough to win in the Premiere League.
So if Manchester United wants to finish this season strong to set themselves up for a good start to next season, they’ll need to make something(s) happen during this January transfer window.
I won’t waste anymore time railing on how United need to fire van Gaal. That’s a dead horse that doesn’t need to be beat again. But he is partially right about the responsibility being on the players to perform. One look of the lineup makes it look like this team should be playing better than what they are. Memphis Depay, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Maroune Fellaini should produce better than 37 points in 22 matches. And sometimes even the manager can’t get the results those players should be outputting.
So it ought to be imperative for United to make a move or two during this transfer window. Another attacking option alongside Rooney would be great. If you take out the 3-3 draw against Newcastle, United has scored just six goals in seven matches. That’s hardly a recipe for success. And Rooney’s the only who’s even done anything lately too, scoring half of those goals and putting five shots on goal. Meanwhile, the rest of the team has fired just nine shots on goal in three of the last four games. Getting another player with a nose for the goal, like James Rodriguez or Robert Lewandowksi, will take the pressure off Rooney and might actually spark something with the United offense.
Of course, it also takes a coach doing the right thing and getting the most out of those players to make it all work, but like I said, that’s a dead horse that’s been beaten too much at this point.
But the Premiere League is there for the taking. Maybe not the top spot at this point, but the top four ought to be the goal. Heck, a top three spot and secure spot in next season’s Champions League should be the goal. But the only way that happens is if some sort of big transfer news comes out of the red side of Manchester this month.