It's starting to all come together for Louis van Gaal at Manchester United: the so called philosophy is starting to take shape, with the club now in with a great chance of securing Champions League football for next season.
The Red Devils' past two Premier League victories over Tottenham and Liverpool respectively have certainly changed the dynamics towards the top of the Premier League ahead of the final eight games of the season.
But one thing hasn't changed in Manchester: Colombian hitman Radamel Falcao is still struggling. Ok, so we all know that he's only found the back of the net on four occasions and has only been utitilised here and there under the Dutch regime.
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We're also aware that he's still finding his feet and settling to the English game, while he's struggling for confidence as he looks to return to his sublime and remarkable best.
Perhaps, though, the turning point is in sight:
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“We have the last eight games … I will give my best to have the chance to play as many minutes as possible. I have said before I need to play. I need minutes and I am confident about me, about my fitness. I am confident.”
These were the words of Falcao following his three goals in two games for Colombia over the course of the past week. Ok, he only scored against the duo of Kuwait and Bahrain, but he will now return to Manchester in great spirits.
He continued: “I think when I score it’s always important and that gives me confidence. I said before I need minutes, I need to play games in a row and here in the national team I have had the opportunity. I gave my best and I scored and I now return to Manchester with more confidence.”
So, with Aston Villa at home this weekend, should Van Gaal start the striker he brought to the club on transfer deadline day of last summer?
Fans want him
Well, the fans certainly want their manager to take a risk on him:
Go for it
Of course some will claim that Van Gaal would be foolish to change a winning team. After all, his side put on two tremendous performances before the international break, but the Dutchman has to have a long hard think about things.
Ultimately, despite United holding a five point lead over Liverpool in the race to secure top four, they haven't secure their place in next year's elite competition just yet. And it's not going to be easy.
After the Villa clash, United play Manchester City at home, Chelsea away and Everton away. Van Gaal needs his full squad for a huge run in. That's why he should look into resting one of his top names for the Villa clash.
Falcao is full of confidence; strangely, despite the fact it will be April, the forward may even feel like he's starting all over again on Saturday. He - like everyone else - is aware that time is running out for him at Old Trafford, but he deserves one last chance to prove his credentials.
And he will come into a side full of confidence. In truth, this should be the most confident United have been since the Sir Alex Ferguson era. At the end of the day, if things really aren't going right after 55 minutes or so, Van Gaal can always makes changes. Robin van Persie may well return to the squad this weekend, so that's not a bad replacement if Falcao fails again.
But, who's to say Saturday won't be his day? Van Gaal should take the risk; it might just pay off and prove a masterstroke.
Manchester United fans: Do you agree? Should Van Gaal play Falcao on Saturday? Have your say in the comments section below!
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