After the abject start to the season which Manchester United have endured, the last thing the team needed was another defeat, and especially not to a team two divisions lower than themselves. United need a win right now just to stop the rot, but also for some confidence and belief which is clearly seeping out of every available orifice of the club.
It’s been a nightmare start for new manager Louis van Gaal, but the Dutchman is not helping himself with team selections like he chose for the 4-0 defeat to League One MK Dons. Van Gaal should have put out a strong team and just tried to get a win any way possible and get the club some positive press clippings again, as well as something for the fans and players to feel better about than they have been experiencing recently.
Conversely, though, the snowball will now continue to roll and the longer United go on in this manner, the more difficult things will become. A win against MK Dons is nothing for a club like United to get too excited about, of course not, but it’s a whole lot better than the 4-0 humiliation they got instead. It was avoidable too, but the team van Gaal picked was asking for trouble.
The most recognizable names on the team sheet were David De Gea, Johnny Evans, Anderson, Shinji Kagawa, Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez, but the rest included inexperienced youth players. Even the bench was full of unproven or youth players with the exception of Adnan Januzaj. In other countries like Spain, Germany, Italy and France, you can get away with playing inexperienced players mixed with some fringe players, but in England, it’s not so simple.
You really can lose to anybody if you take too many liberties and United did so against MK Dons. Maybe that was a show of inexperience in relation to the British game from van Gaal. Perhaps he never expected Swansea City, Sunderland and now MK Dons to be the challenge that they were for United. If it was, then the new United boss will need to learn quickly because there are no games off when you’re managing a Premier League team.
From here, things are only going to get worse for van Gaal if United do not swiftly arrest the slide they are currently on. They could have done exactly that against MK Dons, but van Gaal made an error of judgement with the team he selected for the game, and United have paid the price for that.
Premier League newcomers Burnley will provide the next opportunity for United to finally get a win on Saturday, and again it looks like an opportunity the team should be able to take advantage of. But having seen United’s performances so far this season, you wouldn’t back them to beat anybody, and quite clearly, not even teams two divisions below them.