United blew all their league rivals out of the water with their transfer dealings this summer with six new additions taking their spending to more than £150 million. Louis Van Gaal's arrival as manager brought about a new found confidence and belief that United would be great again after fans watched them finish seventh under David Moyes' tenure last season.
The Red Devils won every single one of their preseason games, leading many to proclaim the Dutch manager as a genius and the club's saviour. The preseason United side looked to have regained that swagger and fear factor that had made them dominant under Sir Alex Ferguson for so many years.
But after the final whistle of the first game of the season at home to Swansea that had all been crushed. United slumped to a miserable 2-1 defeat in a game that mirrored some of the shocking performances of last season. The manager himself admitted that the confidence of his players had been smashed.
Van Gaal's predecessor David Moyes also coincidentally started his United career against the Welsh side but the result was a completely different one. United thumped the Swans 4-1 with Robin Van Persie showing the same form he had in his debut season under Ferguson.
However similarly to this season, four games later under Moyes and many were asking questions of what was happening to Manchester United.
In the Scot's first five league games United had won, drawn, lost, won and lost, leaving them with seven points after five games. Compare that to this season and you might well have quite a shock.
|Team||Points||Won||Lost||Drawn||Goals Scored||Goals Against||Games|
|Louis Van Gaal||Man United||5||1||2||2||8||8||5|
|David Moyes||Man United||7||2||2||1||7||6||5|
LVG's new look United that includes the likes of Di Maria, Herrera and Falcao have lost, drawn, drawn, won and lost, leaving them with them with two points less than they had at this stage last season.
What makes this more shocking is the fact that last season United were competing in the Champions League, and their first five games included all of Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City; whereas this campaign they haven't even faced a side you would realistically expect to finish in the top 10. As is clear from the stats, United scored more, conceded less and had more points in Moyes' start that saw them play the sides who eventually finished 1st, 2nd and 3rd.
United's current problem is the gross imbalance of the squad, scoring eight and conceding eight is not form of a top four team. In attack United have an embarrassing array of options, whereas in defence they are relying on inexperienced youth which has cost them as we saw against Leicester yesterday. A mistake you could say LVG made over the summer was not retaining the services of one of Vidic, Ferdinand or Evra, or at the very least replacing their experience.
Despite his poor start its certainly too early to cast judgement over the former Netherlands manager. He has repeatedly said that it takes time for players to adapt to his style with the first three months being particularly difficult. Getting back to the Champions League is paramount this season and it is just a slight worry that his record after five games is worse than Moyes', who ended up finishing seventh.