Football

Angel di Maria needs understanding, not anger, from Manchester United fans

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Louis van Gaal and his Manchester United players will be feeling very low today and few more so than Angel di Maria, whose moment of madness has attracted plenty of ire from fans of the Old Trafford club - but that is not the reaction he should be getting.

It was a frustrating evening for the Red Devils as Danny Welbeck returned the the club that considered him surplus to requirements and scored the winning goal in Arsenal's 2-1 victory in the FA Cup quarter-final.

United were chasing the game when Di Maria's meltdown came, there were only 13 minutes of the 90 left when he stepped inside Aaron Ramsey just on the edge of the area and fell to the ground, as if tugged.

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Referee Michael Oliver blew his whistle but, much to the Argentine's dismay, pointed the other way and proceeded to brandish a yellow card for a dive. Di Maria was furious but replays showed almost no contact between him and Ramsey - and even that was a hand on his arm.

Fury took hold and the £60million summer arrival from Real Madrid reached out and tugged the back of Oliver's shirt; that was his downfall. The young referee gave a look of disbelief and got his cards out again - Di Maria was actually fortunate it was only a second yellow card, as a straight red would have meant a worse suspension.

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It was the culmination of months of despair at receding confidence and form for the 27-year-old, not to mention a terrifying personal experience at home. It was a stupid act and he deserves his ban, but people must resist the urge to react angrily, we must show understanding.

HIs Problems Were Mounting

The basic problems Di Maria is having are not uncommon for players coming to the Premier League from abroad; the speed and physical intensity of the league, the Manchester weather doesn't help and just being in a new country is difficult.

Whether you are a professional footballer or not, moving your family to a country where you don't speak the language is a stressful experience. Then there is the fact that one of the biggest clubs in world football paid more for you than they have paid for a player before.

People look to you to justify a price tag and transferral funds that you had little to do with - it's a lot of pressure for a person. Add to this one of the vagaries of professional footballers the world over: a loss of form.

Every player in the world goes through a period where things just aren't coming off and there seems to be nothing for but for them to keep playing, going about things in the way they always try to, the good days will return.

A new squad and league certainly makes dips such as these more likely to happen, so he will just have to bear it for now. The one factor that really cannot be expected 'run of the mill' is the incident at his home in February.

Terrifying Raid

Di Maria was eating dinner with his wife and child after United's win over Leicester City at Old Trafford earlier in the season when three people attempted to break into the property, using scaffolding poles to try and smash through patio doors.

An alarm went off and scared the burglars off, but the former Benfica star has reportedly refused to return to the property, which is now up for sale. It was an understandably traumatic experience for him and any person would be affected by the safety of their family being threatened.

Perfect Storm

This background must be considered when evaluating events on Monday against Arsenal; he had being having a nightmare on the pitch and off it, so an encouraging first half where he delivered a stupendous cross for Wayne Rooney to cancel out Nacho Monreal's opener could have had thinking his fortunes were turning.

Then the second half is more frustrating, United go behind and he goes down in a way that would not cause much of a furore in Spain or Portugal. Di Maria snaps and does something unwise, for which he must now pay the price of suspension and ire from football fans and commentators.

It has been a pretty shambolic first season in England for Di Maria and he needs people not to be angry with him, but to understand that he is struggling and that we can all do something stupid when feeling desperate. He needs time and patience, we should give it to him.

WILL MANCHESTER UNITED FINISH INSIDE THE TOP FOUR OF THE PREMIER LEAGUE THIS SEASON? WHO WILL JOIN THEM? LET US KNOW, JOIN THE DEBATE BELOW…

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Manchester United
Angel di Maria

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