Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has said on more than one occasion that it will take time for his team to gel.
The Dutchman has yet to lead the Red Devils to a competitive win, having lost their opening Premier League game of the season 2-1 to Swansea City at Old Trafford and then drawn 1-1 with Sunderland away from home on Sunday.
United midfielder Juan Mata has toed the line, echoing Van Gaal’s belief that it will take time for the team to excel and reach their peak.
‘I do think that changes need time’, the 26-year-old Spain international wrote on his blog. ‘We are talking about a new project, with a new manager and a new style. There is going to be a transition and that new start is more difficult if you don’t get good results’.
Mata’s sentiments will be shared by many United fans. After all, this is the start of the Van Gaal regime with the squad yet to be finalised – players will leave and new signings will arrive between now and the end of the summer transfer window.
Of course, given United’s pedigree and history, they are expected to at least challenge for a top-four place in the Premier League, but it will take at least a few weeks for the team to come together and play the brilliant football one normally associates with the Manchester outfit.
Another point on which Mata agrees with Van Gaal is that United should have won the match against Sunderland on Sunday.
The Premier League contest ended in a 1-1 draw (click here to read more), leaving both the Dutchman and Mata (who scored at the Stadium of Light) disappointed.
‘We have one point and that is not good enough for Manchester United’, BBC Sport quotes Van Gaal as saying. ‘We have to work a lot. The players are very disappointed after the game because we thought we would win’.
‘It’s never easy to play at Sunderland, although after the game that point is not enough’, wrote Mata. ‘We scored first but they equalised in a corner kick before the break, and we didn’t manage to score again in the second half’.
It was indeed a disappointing result for United and their performance was underwhelming. However, this is just the start of the season and the club’s fans should remain optimistic.