Man United’s season so far: The good, the bad and the ugly

Jonathan Spencer runs the rule over Manchester United's start to the season, looking at the good, the bad and the ugly

By Jonathan Spencer

The good

Although Manchester United’s defence conceded two poor goals against Swansea in their first defeat of the season, they now look more robust. They have kept four clean sheets in six matches so far in all competitions. Adding Morgan Schneiderlin to their ranks has helped protect the back four hugely and Chris Smalling has looked influential and domineering so far. Now, with the David De Gea transfer to Real Madrid not going through, they have arguably the best goalkeeper in the Premier League back in between the posts. It looks important this defensive form continues because creating plenty of chances and scoring goals may be an issue for them this season. The one doubt many sceptics have is whether Daley Blind will be able to cope with the physicality when he faces strong and powerful forwards.

The bad

Just like Arsenal, they are short of players who can make a massive impact in front of goal. After selling Robin Van Persie to Fenerbahce and with Radamel Falcao currently playing at Chelsea, they are missing a recognised centre-forward. Yes, Wayne Rooney has scored 233 goals during 485 matches with the club but nowadays he is not equipped to play as a lone centre-forward. In the Premier League, he has failed to capture the eye and has found it difficult to impact the match. Ominously for Louis van Gaal’s side, they have only scored three goals in the Premier League so far. United face an uphill battle again this season and will be content with a top four finish.

The ugly

Sense of desperation in the transfer market. The Anthony Martial transfer is very questionable. The Monaco chairman confirmed that the transfer could reach close to £58m. This is an excessive amount of money for a 19-year-old that has scored 11 goals in 49 matches. Does this tell us that Van Gaal is very worried about the shortage of attacking options within the club? There will be huge amounts of pressure put on to the shoulders of Martial and if he fails to deliver, fans may well turn on him due to his transfer fee. This seems very much like a panic buy and it also shows just how significant money is to the modern game.

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