Manchester United should be content with reasonable start to the season

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At fourth in the table, level on points with local rivals and sitting perilously close to high-flying Leicester City - you'd think life at Manchester United would be a happy one, especially under well-respected boss Louis van Gaal.

There's still problems...

Despite their complementary position, United just haven't cut it. Week in week out, the only players likely to turn up is rising star and dominating centre back Chris Smalling, alongside the 'happy' David De Gea, fresh from his startling transfer saga over the summer.


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The pair make for a sturdy, concrete wall at the back that has rarely been broken all season, only to a resurgent Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil, and well let's face it, a simply stunning Jamie Vardy. But flip the coin over and what do you have?

A 'top' England and club captain failing to not only score, but have any impact on games whatsoever, a pricey teenage starlet that has sincerely slowed down since his instant impression at the club, a 'great' talent that has shown all his goods off the pitch, but none on it and an all-round squad that lacks creativity, flair and personality. That's what you have.

How do you solve a problem like Manchester United?

Since his appointment, Van Gaal has injected superstars into his team, spent large amounts of money, demanded his players stick by his philosophy and with all credit to the Dutch mastermind, it seems to be working points-wise, but the fans are getting restless in the stands.

When the Manchester faithful turn their heads and point their fingers, there's no escape.

What's happened to Wayne?

'Attack! Attack! Attack!' rings from the crowd. Boos jeer as Wayne Rooney squanders yet another chance - a player who has only managed two goals in the league this season is being questioned from all corners of Old Trafford, rumours are rife around his future as captain and his name in the starting 11 is looking less comfortable week on week.

It seems as if the usual week (or two) that he takes off around Christmas every season pays off, as the form of the record-breaking English goalscorer only ever seems to kickstart in the second half of the season, but will we see the same this time around? Only time will tell.

The future is bright

Anthony Martial and Memphis Depay are names that excite the lips of every Red Devils supporter in the land, their potential knows no bounds, but under the 'boring' and 'stubborn' Van Gaal, can they progress onto bigger and better things?

Looking at the squad, most players have. Luke Shaw started the season as one of the biggest prospects in English football, his graceful form and success was horrendously squandered by a horror injury itself in the Champions League, leaving the left-back position wide open.

Smalling has stepped up his game dramatically under the Dutchman, despite the man in charge forgetting his name on multiple occasions, referring to him as 'Mike'.

Jesse Lingard has found himself in the team, and he seems to be getting better and better as the games go by, so it leaves for easy reading. Many are sure to see the originally mentioned pair rise to the plate over the next few years, etching their names rightfully on the back of that United shirt.

But what about the present?

A title challenge looks likely, however, a successful one can be rightfully doubted. With Chelsea all but out, it seems as if Manchester City's only worries are United and Arsenal.

Powerful men in blue, versus the 'boring' men in red, rounded off by the exciting yet delicate boys from the Emirates, there can only be one winner. But will it be the dull and tedious United?

They have a run of games against teams lower down the pecking order of the Premier League and we surely will see an improvement in the team during a tough, draining and mentally harming Christmas period, right?

Hopefully, for the league's sake.

Premier League
Manchester United
Wayne Rooney

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