What Spoiled Louis Van Gaal’s Premier League Debut?

After having an undefeated preseason which consisted of high quality opposition, hopes of every Manchester United fan were sky high. The curtain-raiser against Swansea was expected to be a cakewalk for Louis van Gaal’s side.

But it was an anticlimax of sorts for the faithfuls and a new found norm for glory hunters as United succumbed to another home defeat against Swansea. Strikes from Ki Seoung Yung and fans’ favourite Gylfi Siggurdson propelled the Welsh outfit to its first victory against the home side for the first time in Premier League era.

One thing that had to be noted was the list of first team players who were either on physio’s table or not 100% (read Robin van Persie) was sizeable as 9 players were unable to take part in the opening fixture. If he had choice of selecting from a fully fit squad then the story would have been different. But injuries to all his senior defenders barring Phil Jones and Chris Smalling tested both the team’s as well as manager’s resolve.

This led to first team debuts for academy products Tyler Blackett and Jesse Lingard. Lingard unfortunately had his debut cut short as he got injured while vying for possession against Swansea defender further aggravating United’s worries in wide positions.

This stitched up lineup by the Dutchman was more like United of last term instead of the Ferguson days or even lacked the trademarks of a typical Louis van Gaal sides. No penetration either from wings or via centre of the park. The side boasting one of the best playmaker in Juan Mata lack of penetration from centre is highly shameful and worry-some. Swans defence were highly successful in keeping the troika of of Wayne Rooney, Chicharito and Juan Mata quiet.

In order to get the creative players back in the thick of action United had to forego their coach’s ‘philosophy’ and switch to a back four in second half of the game. Although this tactical change led to the solitary goal of the game for us but it was via a set piece. The best chances in the game for United were from set-pieces barring a couple of chances through open play very late in the game. Thus, undermining the ineffectiveness of United’s ability to break open a somewhat average Swansea defence.

This lack of penetration can be attributed to lack or should I say dearth of incisiveness while in possession. A defence with exception of Tyler Blackett dreads at the thought of having ball at their feet for more than 10 seconds. Phil Jones had a decent game but he was caught out by Montero far too often. This was also reflected by the attacking wide men as well notably by Adnan Januzaj. He did good to get away from his man by good piece of skills coupled with even better burst of pace. But his final ball was of poorest quality imaginable. Nani too started the half brightly but fizzled out as the game went on.

Drought of quality options out wide are certainly hurting us more than our deficiency in central midfield. Swiftness in counterattacks and playing ball out from the back is doing us in more than often. The players at the club are no wonder losing their grip from playing the ‘United Way’. Especially the wingers at the club. The squad no doubt requires reinforcements but it isn’t that bad as it is made out to be.

The Iron Tulip has to adopt shape up or get out approach in order to bring glory days back at the Theatre Of Dreams.

About Steve Ferguson 886 Articles
Steve Ferguson had taken over & re-branded The Faithful MUFC website back in the summer of 2014 and is now the owner and editor of the site. Steve, from Ashton-Under-Lyne in Greater Manchester, is a 35-year-old life long Manchester United fan, travelling over the globe to see the Reds play. Steve has been lucky enough to be at both the 1999 and 2008 Champions League finals, seeing Manchester United lift the biggest trophy in the World, none more exciting than that faithful night in Barcelona in 99. The website is a blog, but also hopes to deliver the latest Manchester United news from around the internet too, linked up with our growing twitter account which is @TheFaithfulMUFC, give it a follow as we will follow you back as soon as we can.


  1. I find it quite big headed for United fans to play down a Swansea victory that deserved more respect. Average Swansea defence? Just because we don’t pay stupid money for players don’t mean they are average. Infact man for man we probably had 7 or 8 of the best 11 players on that pitch yesterday, whatever their value they put in a good shift, more than you can City for the multi millionaires in a red shirt.

    Be more respectful and give credit when due. Whatever you think Man U stands for you can only judge on the day or at the end of the season how good your are. You were average at best last season and second best yesterday, but hey ….. You had a great pre season 😉

  2. Swansea got more credit than they deserved yesterday. Where them two goals came from are beyond me, complete nothing goals. United, however poor we were, were clearly the better side any numbskull could see that. Swansea got very lucky so don’t be disheartened too much or get excited if your name is mr monk

  3. In comparison to United attack that Swans defense is mediocre barring Ashley Williams. Not undermining Swansea’s effort but mate its a fact that this isn’t a world beating defense at all. Kudos to the Jacks for raking up their first league points at OT. Still it doesn’t change the facts mate 😉

  4. There’s no such thing as a nothing goal.
    But for the record – goal 1 came after 29 passes during which time United didn’t touch the ball.
    Rooney’s goal was was taken but as lucky as any you will see.
    Siggy’s goal, lucky deflection but had Routledge connected it deGea wouldn’t have sniffed it.
    Swans were well organised, unfazed and well worth the win.
    United were made to huff and puff and were second best apart from 10 minutes in the second half.
    If united and all connected with the club continue to look on their season with that degree of arrogance they could easily be looking at the drop zone rather than Champions League places.

  5. It’s quite funny….man united lost to swansea yesterday and what you fans are debating on is who’s defence is “average”???….if man united finish above top 6 this season….i did be the most amazed person in the universe…cuz this man united crop of players are totally pussies….sign players van gaal or you might just end up in the relegation battle

  6. No one disputes the difference in class between Swansea and Man U, however it’s about winning games NOT having expensive players. You think your defence was better than Swansea’s? Then why did you let more goals in? Swansea will hopefully be ok this season but United will have to buy themselves out of trouble, and it is only big spending that will save you, so high transfer fees and high wages, of course your a better team, but you still lost to us for the second time at home this year.

    Anyone can follow a team that can afford the world best players, Swansea however still have 6 or 7 first team players that came up the divisions with us, some from league 2, true support, loyalty and playing for the city. So if we are oiling this victory it’s because it’s another one for the little guys, who by the way won the league cup and played in Europe last season. Average? Ok give me average any day rather than buy a title like the other half of Manchester. Remember football games are won on the pitch, not on paper.

  7. A bit more humility from deservingly-beaten Man Utd would not come amiss. The last three games the Swans have played at Old Trafford have all ended 2-1, in only one case going the way of the home team. The latter was in my opinion a lucky result, when the Swans had chances and two big penalty shouts turned doen (Ferdinand clogged Routs when he was clear through on goal). So the trend has been one of tight results. You reds are living in cloud cockoo land if you expect to turn over our team in every game.

  8. “But injuries to all his senior defenders bar Phil Jones and Chris Smalling….” 3 senior defenders left the club and have not been replaced..

  9. Rob look at the stats mate 60/40 possession 14 shots to 5. Swansea didn’t even have one corner all game and i can guarantee of anyone else other than Hernandez was playing up top with Rooney it would have been a different score line. Imo swansea never looked a threat. Bony was marked out of the game completely by big chris, like I said don’t get excited swansea were well organised but when you have to come out and play you will get fucked up pal

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