Manchester United have endured a poor start to the season, having picked up three wins from their opening 10 Premier League matches, leaving manager Louis van Gaal with a headache.
How can he transform the Red Devils fortunes?
Well, here are five things the veteran Dutch coach must consider doing in order to get the 20-time English champions back on track.
Marouane Fellaini is not a Manchester United player and is only at the club because David Moyes was unable to sign a world-class central midfielder during his first transfer window.
Fellaini admittedly did prove important in the draws with West Brom and Chelsea but that’s about it. During the derby defeat to Man City United’s only approach was to play long balls up to Fellaini and he wasted every single one off them.
United have some world-class creative players such as Herrera, Mata and Di Maria so surely these players should be able to break down defences to create chances.
Also Fellaini is a liability and will cost United dearly one day, he is constantly committing late fouls and was very lucky his trip on Sergio Aguero went unpunished at the Etihad.
Find his best 11
In the early part of the season United have been extremely unlucky with injuries. Nethertheless Van Gaal should have a pretty good idea of what he wants to play as his best side when everyone is fit but at the minute it appears he doesn’t know it.
Van Gaal has always changing the side round, mainly through injury but with the constant changes there is not partnerships being formed or players understand how each other play.
One way around this would to be possibly arrange mid-season friendlies. Even though it runs the risk of yet more injuries it gives the players more game time to play with each other and develop partnerships and for Van Gaal to pick his best 11 once and for all.
Sign a free agent
In recent days there has been lots of rumours saying that United could sign Victor Valdes as a free agent after his release by Barcelona in the summer.
This would be a great signing for United and provide good back-up if David De Gea was to get injured.
At the minute, fortunately De Gea is not injured, but their centre-backs are so why not sign a defender who is currently a free agent as cover.
One player who comes to mind as a possible candidate is Diego Lugano. Lugano is without a club after being released by West Brom but could provide valuable cover at the back for United as well as bringing some experience into a relatively in experienced back four.
Play Blind at centre-back
United are set to be without Rojo, Jones, Smalling and Evans for this weekend’s visit of Crystal Palace so it is likely Michael Carrick will play in the back four along with McNair or Blackett.
Daley Blind however might be a better alternative than Carrick to make up the back four.
Blind is a defensive minded player and has more pace than Carrick so just for the odd game might be a better alternative. This would then also allow Carrick to play in his preferred midfield role where he will be more effective.
Find room for Mata
Juan Mata is a world-class player and needs to be in the team, if this means leaving out a Januzaj or Rooney then so be it.
At the end of last season and beginning of this on when Mata was playing regular
footballer he was scoring and creating goals. Mata is capable of unlocking the tightest defence with a great vision for a pass.
Now that he will have more movement ahead of him with the likes of Di Maria and Falcao, Mata could become a very important player.
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