Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal opted for Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao up front against Queens Park Rangers, and while his side ultimately won 2-0, that had little to do with the Argentine’s contribution.
Di Maria is best as a deep-lying attacker who can burst forward and set up attacks, rather than a forward with his back to goal.
United have lacked pace for so long that the arrival of Di Maria for a British-record £59.7million appeared a wonderful piece of business. But more recently the 26-year-old has been played too far forward, negating much of what is great about his game.
Against QPR, Di Maria had a mixed performance, playing three key passes to set up goal-scoring chances for his teammates but failing to find the target with any of his four shots.
A player who leads the line should be testing the goal-keeper not the ball boys, but then Di Maria is not that type of footballer so who can blame him?
|Passing Accuracy||Goal Assists||Key Passes||Shots||Shots on Target||Touches||Dribbles||Mins Played|
|Ángel Di María||84%||0||3||4||0||65||7||89|
An 84 per cent passing accuracy was also less than one would expect from a player with such talent, although the United star did still manage to go on seven of his trademark dribbles.
United won the match, but it is time for Di Maria to be played in his natural position, and then the club may win games at a canter rather than with a struggle.