What Manchester United need to win the Premier League title

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Louis van Gaal just can't win. After three wins from Manchester United's opening three games of the season, Saturday's drab goalless draw against Newcastle has the supporters asking whether the Dutchman has what it takes to win the Premier League title. 

At the moment, they do. Just. Sergio Romero is no David De Gea but, with Real Madrid's interest waning, the Spaniard should stay put for one more season. Memphis Depay is yet to become Cristiano Ronaldo but has shown enough glimpses to suggest that, if given time, he could do the number seven shirt justice. 

That said, there are causes for concern. No Ander Herrera, no marquee name, and, from the supporters, no patience. Mishaps in the transfer market can be forgiven but failing to build on a fourth-placed finish will have the Dutchman's head on Ed Woodward's desk in May. 


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Herrera hiatus

In a season that saw United labour back into the Champions League, Herrera was a shining light and immediately drew comparisons with Paul Scholes for his intelligent play and composure in the final third.

However after the arrivals of midfield duo Morgan Schneiderlin and Bastian Schweinsteiger, the Spaniard has found himself watching on from the sidelines with the one-paced Michael Carrick preferred to replace Schweinsteiger on Saturday afternoon.

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The Basque's flair and tenacity immediately made him a fan favourite, and it was no coincidence that United's best games of last season came with him in the side. The mauling of Manchester City and stunning of Liverpool at Anfield were both achieved with him taking a starring role.

Much of United's football this term has been too slow, too sluggish and too lacklustre. Pace and urgency is lacking, with their attacking approach often predictable and easy to contain. Bringing Herrera in from the cold could be the injection of superstardom the club sorely need.

Marquee misery

Ever since Sir Alex Ferguson retired two years ago, Woodward has tried and failed to bring in some of the planet's most stellar names in a bid to restore the club to the dizzying heights they used to enjoy under the Scot's stewardship.

Cristiano Ronaldo was the first, seemingly destined to return only to change his mind at the last minute, whilst both David Moyes and Van Gaal have spent too long pursuing Gareth Bale whose reluctance to leave Real Madrid is clear.

Angel Di Maria was snared, once Madrid deemed him surplus to requirements, yet the likes of Thomas Muller, Edinson Cavani and Sergio Ramos have all turned down approaches from the Red Devils to stay in Europe.

Van Gaal is expected to maintain his pursuit of a standout name until the transfer deadline in eight days time, but Bale and now Barcelona's Neymar are unlikely to leave their current surroundings anytime soon.

Patience plea

Just a month ago the memes of Woodward photoshopped into numerous scenes from the Wolf of Wall Street were doing the rounds on social media, with United fans unanimous in their support for their under-pressure chief executive.

But now the landscape has changed. The decision to allow Pedro and Nicolas Otamendi to join Chelsea and Manchester City have prompted much fury from the supporters and Woodward's crown has fallen, rather than slipped off his head. 

With eight days and months remaining of the window and the season, United fans need to get behind their manager and their club. Van Gaal is a serial champion and, while his tactical decisions can be questionable, they did get him success at Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern Munich. 

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Louis van Gaal
Ander Herrera
Premier League
Manchester United

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