Though the unprecedented failings witnessed at Old Trafford last season may have been hurriedly swept under the carpet by the majority of Manchester United fans, the painful reminders simply refuse to go away.
Louis van Gaal’s lack of success in the transfer market thus far has been described as echoing David Moyes’ virtually barren first window, and the status of a number of first-team players remains on the rocks thanks to their performances during perhaps the worst term in the red half of Manchester to date. The newly appointed manager’s successful credentials should be paving the way for optimism, and yet there remains a bleak shadow of negativity hanging over the squad, one which threatens to call into question Van Gaal’s judgement at every turn.
The fact that United supporters are reportedly up in arms following the 62-year-old’s first decision of note prove that the lack of positivity could well be the first obstacle he has to overcome as boss. It was officially confirmed over the course of the weekend that Antonio Valencia will be staying at Old Trafford for the foreseeable future, with the penning of a new three-year deal solidifying his position as being in Van Gaal’s plans moving forward. If the Metro are to be believed that fans took to Twitter to vent their frustrations at said deal having been agreed, with the bulk of them clearly feeling that the Ecuadorian winger hasn’t done enough to warrant a place in the revamping project the club is now looking to undertake.
Whilst it has to be conceded that a series of angry Tweets can hardly be taken as the view of United supporters as a collective, the fact that the Red Devils’ official Twitter account was inundated with negative replies from the news of Valencia’s contract indicates one thing above all else; a fair few people are not happy.
The said Tweets largely focused around fans airing their annoyance that a player many of them deem surplus to requirements at Old Trafford has been rewarded with a healthy new deal. Valencia was one of the players who failed to impress under David Moyes last term, and it’s unlikely the masses would have been too displeased had he been shipped on to pastures new.
Why the tying down of Valencia has been met with such uproar is anyone’s guess, as the 28-year-old has been a key component of the squad in years past. Reiterating an earlier point, the disgruntled complaints of those who disagreed with the decision, to me at least, can be seen as the sad actuality that many of the fans have simply lost confidence in United’s ability to get themselves out of the mire. Though not sitting in the same bracket of influential performer as the likes of Robin van Persie or Wayne Rooney, Valencia has proven himself to be an important asset to the team more often than not.
His pace and direct running routinely troubles fullbacks, and his versatility means that he offers an option at right-back when Rafael is otherwise disposed. Though there are those who simply aren’t good enough to stake a claim in Van Gaal’s team moving forward, and thus should be sold, but the man in question isn’t one of them.
RESPECTING VAN GAAL’S DECISIONS
Moving forward, an imperative staple of being a United fan this season will revolve around trusting Van Gaal to make the right calls at the right moments. Though there’s been little or nothing to cheer about since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement the Dutchman has been brought into banish the rain cloud hanging over Old Trafford, and the only way it’s possible is if he’s shown faith with regards to making potentially eyebrow-raising decisions.
On this occasion United fans may not be happy that Valencia has been given three more years with the club, but the fact that he didn’t enjoy a scintillating campaign last term is an unreasonable argument at best, at worst it’s absolutely absurd.
Red Devils supporters, what do you think of Valencia’s new deal? Is Van Gaal right or wrong to award him such a contract? Let us know in the comments box below...