Robbie Savage: Van Gaal's honeymoon period is nearly over

Angry Louis van Gaal

The pundit suggests van Gaal has had an easy ride, and also mentioned a Liverpool side who are 'having a bad season' are ahead of them in the league table.

Match of the Day and BT Sport pundit Robbie Savage believes this weekend will mark the beginning of the end of any honeymoon period that Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal will have.

United face league leaders Chelsea at Old Trafford on Sunday at the start of a difficult run of fixtures for the club, which involves visits to Manchester City and Arsenal within the next six games.

In his Daily Mirror column, Savage has said that van Gaal has had an 'easy ride' for some poor results which have included defeats to Swansea City, Leicester City and a hammering at Milton Keynes Dons in the League Cup.

He said: "United have not won away from home in any competition for more than six months - and under Van Gaal failed to win at Sunderland, Burnley, MK Dons, Leicester and now West Brom."

Savage, like many others, voices an opinion that United are an excellent side going forward given the additions of Radamel Falcao and Angel Di Maria to the side but is still concerned about the defensive side to their play.

He added: "In the next month Van Gaal must find a way of stopping Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal and on the evidence at Albion on Monday, is no closer to improving their defence.

"Their firepower gives United a realistic change of beating Chelsea on Sunday and, if that happens, everyone will say Van Gaal is a genius. But if Diego Costa is fit, I can also see them getting turned over badly."

The chances of Costa being fit for the visitors on Sunday appears to be on the slim side after he was reportedly in hospital this week with an illness, as well as trying to recover from a hamstring injury. 

Some would suggest the Dutchman has not really had a honeymoon period given he failed to win his opening four competitive matches in charge at the club. 

One noticeable difference from the United last season compared to the side under Sir Alex Ferguson was their reluctance to go toe-to-toe with the bigger sides under David Moyes. This is undoubtedly a test of the mentality that van Gaal will have instilled in his players as they take on the form side in the division.

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