Manchester United: Five reasons for fans to remain cheerful

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This is a particularly mortifying period to be a fan of Manchester United. The twenty times English champions suffered one of their most embarrassing defeats in Premier League history as a certain football club from the East Midlands put five goals past their incompetent defence.

Leicester City, who returned to the top flight after ten years, came from two goals behind to win the game 5-3. You know you are bad if you can make Jamie Vardy look like Thierry Henry.

This was the first time Manchester United lost a game after being two goals up in the Premier League. This defeat further pummels the Red Devils into the dark abyss that is the bottom half of the table.

Sitting in 12th place with five points after five games, new manager Louis van Gaal has so far not delivered what was expected of him. Nevertheless, the league is far from over and there are plenty of positives that can put the smiles back on their supporters' faces. 

1. The return of injured players

Michael Carrick, Marouane Fellaini, Ashley Young and Phil Jones will be returning to full match fitness soon enough. Chris Smalling, although not one of his proudest games, played plenty of minutes in United's defeat at Leicester.

Luke Shaw is yet to make his official debut for the club he signed for in the summer. With United lacking leadership and organisation at the back, Phil Jones is the perfect candidate to restore that order. 

2. The signings 

If the very thought of having Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao on the same team does not fill you up with exulted jubilation, I don't know what will. With Di Maria scoring goals and providing assists for fun for both club and country, I think United have got themselves a genuinely world-class player.

And, with Falcao's goalscoring reputation all across Europe, it could prove to be a nightmare for Premier League defenders when he gains hundred percent match sharpness and combines with Di Maria. 

3. Ander Herrera & Daley Blind compliment each other well

Some might argue that United need another box-to-box midfielder in the mould of Arturo Vidal or Kevin Strootman, but from what we have seen so far, these two midfielders have added much needed solidity and creativity to their midfield.

Ander Herrera already has two goals in two games, which is an encouraging sign as United fans have been crying for a goalscoring midfielder for a decade or so now.

Against Queens Park Rangers, Van Gaal deployed a diamond in the midfield. Blind forming the anchor, Di Maria and Herrera on either side and Juan Mata as the No.10. It proved devastating for QPR as United smashed them four goals to nil. 

Herrera who is not known for his goalscoring, has much more freedom now that Blind is on the team. Blind's calmness, composure and defensive abilities in the middle were a welcome sight for United fans. The Dutch international is a shrewd purchase for United and has the potential to become one of Van Gaal's best buys. 

4. It's a marathon, not a sprint

United still have 33 games to play in the league. That's a massive 99 points to play for! With a little bit of consistency, the Red Devils are more than capable of turning this around and blast their way into the top four.

And history suggests that Louis Van Gaal is a notoriously slow starter. When he managed Bayern Munich in 2009. they won only five of their opening 13 matches and were 8th by the end of November.

Van Gaal demanded time from the Bayern fans and insisted that they believe in his philosophy and that the players are in the process of learning his way. True to his word, come May, they won the title by five points and reached the Champions League final.

It's the same here at United. The Dutchman stated in one of his first press conferences with the club that it may take three or four months for the players to understand his philosophy. And the fans should trust him. 

5. The boss

He is no David Moyes. United's 63-year-old manager has a proven track record all across Europe. He has delivered wherever he has went. Seven league titles in three different countries is quite an impressive record. And with his history of promoting youth, United have probably got themselves the best man available.

Even after the defeat against Leicester, the fans have not lost all their hope like they did this time last year with Moyes at helm. They know that this is a manager who is genuinely proven and should turn this around. He is a winner and does not like losing the least bit.

He received a little criticism for deploying the 'foreign' three-man-defence but there are several mitigating factors that led him to do that including injuries to key players. United fans need to be patient and believe in a man who warrants time and most importantly faith from his club's supporters. His record speaks for himself.

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Louis van Gaal
UEFA Champions League
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