Angel Di Maria hobbles off as Manchester United boss admits – 'We've been unacceptable'

Louis van Gaal says performance at Turf Moor was 'unacceptable'

Turf Moor

Angel Di Maria, Britain’s most expensive footballer, hobbled out of his first game for Manchester United after which their manager Louis van Gaal admitted that the club’s start to the season had been unacceptable.

Di Maria was already suffering cramps when a kick on the calf by Burnley’s Danny Ings saw him withdrawn 20 minutes before the end of the dismal goalless draw, which saw United slump to their worst start to a Premier League season since 2007-08.

United have not ruled out the prospect of adding further reinforcements to their side after the £13.8million arrival of back-up transfer target Daley Blind from Ajax. But the club’s final 48 hours of the transfer window will be dominated by attempts to shed players, with Tom Cleverley’s move to Aston Villa, Shinji Kagawa to Borussia Dortmund and Javier Hernandez to Juventus or Valencia all yet to be concluded.

Blind only learned on Wednesday that Van Gaal wanted to press ahead with a deal to buy him, when a move for another midfielder who was ahead of him on United’s list failed. United have had an interest in Arturo Vidal, of Juventus, and Sporting Lisbon’s William Carvalho. Blind may operate in a flexible role at the back of United’s midfield, switching to a central defensive role when the side are out of possession.

“He brings a multi-functional player who can play in many positions,” Van Gaal said of Blind, who is the son of the coach Danny Blind, one of his closest associates in football. “He is a good player. He can read the game very well.”

Van Gaal said that Di Maria was “not the world class player we have seen in Madrid” in his display at Burnley. The manager, who expects the Argentine Marcos Rojo to have resolved his visa problems by the time that United next play, said: “At this moment this is certainly not [world class] but we have to wait and have belief.

“Of course the progress is there but you have to win. A club like Manchester United has to win. When you have two points from [a possible] nine that is far too [few] and that’s disappointing.”

Manchester United have agreed a fee with Ajax for utility man Daley Blind  

--

DI MARIA WATCH

5min. First threat. A 20-yard run down the left but he plays the ball far too long for Wayne Rooney. Ironic Burnley cheers “Argentina” chants from United fans.

15. What’s to come. Impeccable ball into right channel from just inside own half to Robin van Persie.

21. Move of the match. Di Maria back header creates space, from which he flicks a ball with the outstep, to Van Persie, takes return pass and levels low cross. Mata fluffs.

30. Rooney link-up. They developed an immediate intuition. Di Maria’s clipped pass is cushioned by Rooney into Van Persie’s path but he is slow to respond.

49. First shot in the  Premier League. Valencia seized possession which Rooney recycles to Di Maria, left side of box. Kieran Trippier blocks.

64. Fatigue tells. Signs that Di Maria is experiencing cramp.

69. Takes a kick to the calf by Danny Ings and manager Louis van Gaal decides to substitute him.

Ian Herbert

Suggested Topics
Sport
football
News
Hillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
music
Sport
wimbledonScot will face Ivo Karlovic next
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test