Manchester United may well have secured a crucial three points against Crystal Palace this past weekend, but there are still some serious problems at Old Trafford.
After 11 Premier League games, United are already as many as 13 points behind table-toppers Chelsea, and they're only in touching distance of the top four because a number of teams around them are also in disappointing form.
Why then - after £150m was spent in the summer transfer window - are Louis van Gaal's side struggling so much?
Much has been made about United's defence...or lack of it. After all, United were destroyed against new-boys Leicester City earlier on in the season, while they have looked open and vulnerable throughout the campaign so far.
In truth, though, the Red Devils also have problems going forward, despite the array of attacking talent they have at their disposal. Van Gaal's struggling to get the balance right at the Theatre of Dreams, and his side are paying for it.
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That's why some of the attacking stars must be dropped, and midfield players must come in. When looking at Manchester United's best XI - if everyone is fit - then United can't afford to play with all of their luxury players...it's not just Juan Mata who should be spending time on the bench.
There's no doubt about it, Robin van Persie has endured a torrid start to the season and his continuous selection doesn't look justified. Teenager Adnan Januzaj should also be used, but perhaps shouldn't be a regular starter.
Radamel Falcao, if he can find his form and fitness, should play in attack, with club captain Wayne Rooney behind him. Then comes the balancing act: in front of the back four should sit Daley Blind and Michael Carrick. Versatile Dutchman Blind can get around and win the ball for the Red Devils, whilst Carrick can pick the right pass and get the attacking stars in the game.
That leaves Ander Herrera and Angel di Maria to operate in the areas in front of Blind and Carrick. Di Maria looked at his best in the early stages of the season when he wasn't playing as an out-and-out winger, so he should be handed a more central role alongside Herrera.
But the duo would be handed more of a license to create as there will be players sitting behind them, but there won't be too many players getting in their way in the final third of the pitch.
In defence, meanwhile, Rafael da Silva and Luke Shaw should play in the full-back roles, while it's extremely tricky to pick United's best two centre-backs. In truth, they've all struggled at times, but Phil Jones and Chris Smalling must finally be handed an opportunity to progress together.
Smalling, of course, has it all to prove after his nightmare match at the Etihad eight days ago, but he still has time on his side and shouldn't be written off just yet. Goalkeeper David de Gea, meanwhile, picks himself between the sticks.
Manchester United's best XI
David de Gea, Rafael da Silva, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Luke Shaw, Michael Carrick, Daley Blind, Ander Herrera, Angel di Maria, Wayne Rooney, Radamel Falcao.
Do you agree? Let us know which players make your best Manchester United XI. Have your say in the comments section below!
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