Manchester United crisis: Five reasons why it could be another season of woe for United

United have not clicked so far under Louis van Gaal

1. Louis van Gaal's 3-5-2

David Moyes's successor is sticking to his guns with his 3-5-2 formation, despite it not working at all. Against Swansea on the opening day and then MK Dons in the League Cup last night his players looked terribly exposed down the flanks, and not sure at all of their places in the formation. If the awful start continues if may be a case of what goes first - the manager or 3-5-2.

2. Angel Di Maria

The British-record £60m signing joined yesterday as the man to bring United back to their dizzying league-winning heights, however, Di Maria's open letter to Real Madrid fans spoke of his sadness that he had to leave Real. And while he has been far from a failure, the last big name arrival to the Premier League from Real, Mesut Ozil, has not had the match-winning qualities his team desperately needed and that his price-tag warranted.

Read more: MK Dons 4 Man Utd 0 match report
Did Van Gaal drop Vidal hint?
Gary Neville on Di Maria

3. Squad-depth

The names of Jesse Lingard and Tyler Blackett in United's starting XI for their opening defeat by Swansea City showed just how much of a lack of depth there is in the current United squad. Daley Blind, Arturo Vidal and Nigel de Jong have all been linked with the club this summer. How they need them all before the transfer window closes in five days.

Angel Di Maria poses with Louis van Gaal Angel Di Maria poses with Louis van Gaal

Tyler Blackett in action against Swansea City Tyler Blackett in action against Swansea City  

4. Has Van Gaal already written off the season?

"We are building a team which we cannot make in one month or even one year. It is very disappointing," Van Gaal admitted after the torrid 4-0 defeat by League One MK Dons last night. There goes this season's expectations then...

David Moyes lasted 10 months at United before he was sacked David Moyes lasted 10 months at United before he was sacked  

5. Poor start

Two defeats, one draw, seven goals conceded, two goals scored. That's Van Gaal's record from his first three Manchester United matches. During David Moyes' first three matches as United manager they had won two, drawn one, scored six and conceded one - and he was sacked after 10 months in charge.

News
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
people
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvDownton Abbey review: It's six months since we last caught up with the Crawley clan
Sport
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Sport
Greg Dyke insists he will not resign as Football Association chairman after receiving a watch worth more than £16,000 but has called for an end to the culture of gifts being given to football officials
football
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Sport
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Sport
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
News
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
News
i100
News
i100
Sport
Plenty to ponder: Amir Khan has had repeated problems with US immigration because of his Muslim faith and now American television may shun him
boxing
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments