Following one of the most embarrassing nights in their recent history, Louis van Gaal has asked Manchester United fans to show patience.
The Reds have started the Premier League season with a defeat against Swansea City and a draw at Sunderland, yet even this unremarkable start would not have prepared them for what was in store on Tuesday evening. A lack of European football forced United into the League Cup at the second round stage for the first time since 1995, yet it was a short-lived affair as they crashed to a sensational 4-0 defeat at MK Dons.
Although van Gaal experimented with his starting XI, giving debuts to youngsters Saidy Janko and Marnick Vermijl, there was also plenty of experience in the side with the likes of David De Gea, Jonny Evans, Javier Hernandez and Danny Welbeck all featuring. And speaking after the humiliation by a club which was founded as recently as 2004 and who currently sit seventh in League One, the Dutch coach has pleaded for patience.
“It is difficult for the fans to believe in philosophy of Louis van Gaal, but you have to do that because a new team is not built in one month,” said van Gaal. “We are building a team which we cannot make in one month or even one year. It is very disappointing, but I hope they maintain their confidence in our club. We know exactly what we are doing.”
This defeats means that United are now competing in just two competitions this season – the Premier League, in which a top-four finish is their minimum target, and the FA Cup which they last won a decade ago – and it is still only August. Earlier in the day a British record £59.6million deal was completed for Real Madrid’s Argentine forward Angel di Maria, but it is clear that more additions are required before Monday evening’s deadline.
Daley Blind, who starred for Holland under van Gaal at the World Cup, is said to be a target, although there are contrasting reports in regards to whether an offer has actually been made for the Ajax defender. Arturo Vidal, the Juventus midfielder, is a long-term target, but there are concerns over a recent knee injury. Likewise Kevin Strootman, of Roma, is another midfield target, but he remains sidelined after cruciate ligament surgery.
United fans, where do you rank the MK Dons defeat in your list of embarrassments? Let us know your thoughts by joining in the discussion below!