Louis van Gaal managed his first-ever Premier League game for Manchester United, but unfortunately lost 2-1 against Swansea City … at home. This is not the start the Dutchman would have expected, as he is used to success after earning a third-placed finish with his home nation of the Netherlands in this summer’s World Cup.
Swansea took the lead through South Korean international Ki Sung-Yueng before Wayne Rooney equalize early on in the second half. The final goal of the game was scored by former Tottenham man, Gylfi Sigurdsson. With their goals, the Swansea scorers marked their return to the Welsh club by helping to avenge last season’s 4-1 opening loss against these very same opponents.
The Swans played in a 4-2-3-1, which enabled them to force United to attack through wing play. This made it easy to predict for the defense and the keeper. Their confidence oozed on the counter, and the team was even able to build up against a lazy United defense, led by three at the back.
Louis van Gaal is going to have to engrain his style a bit further into the minds of his players as the 3-5-2 can do wonders in this league — if the wing backs as well as central midfielders drop back in time and often. This formation requires a lot of teamwork, which means running back and forth as a unit. Maybe watching tapes of the Dutch national team can teach them a bit quicker.
Rooney is the undeniable captain of this club, but he needs Robin van Persie to return to the starting lineup as soon as possible. Javier Hernandez was awfully quiet in the first half, which could mean that he may not be as usable as he once was when he first joined. His exit is all but inevitable.
Tyler Blackett was decent at center-back but he still has a ways to go before he can become a consistent starter. The injury to Jonny Evans caused this move to happen. Reece James could have played as the left wingback, but van Gaal chose to keep him benched. That was a mistake as the kid is pacey, energetic and had confidence from his decent performances during the preseason.
Van Gaal’s troops played well, but some lineup changes have to be made as today’s boys played lazily and nervously on defense, which ruined their game plan.