THE BLOG

Van Gaal: The Blind Leading the Blind

02/09/2014 16:16 BST | Updated 02/11/2014 10:59 GMT

You have spent £150million in a transfer window, won no competitive games as of yet, saw three of your four top defenders leave and decide to bring replacements in at the last minute, and lose 4-0 in a cup game to League One - good luck Van Gaal.

I cannot be the only man that thinks this 3-5-2 formation does not work in the Premier League. At the time of writing the Transfer Deadline is causing whirlwinds in global football, with Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao arriving at Old Trafford with Javier Hernandez, and Danny Welbeck and walking out in the opposite direction. Why attackers though? Manchester United lost three defenders in the summer with Vidic, Ferdinand and Evra all leaving, with only Evra leaving for a fee. So far Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo and possibly Daley Blind, have signed. However they are all left backs, although Rojo and Blind can play in the centre. This remains a problem, and despite the problems in attack, Van Gaal needs to sort his defence if he wants to win games.

After witnessing the Capital One Cup loss to a well-organised MK Dons who were excellent on the night, various problems exist. There is no leadership, which shows how much they missed Rooney and Darren Fletcher. Jonny Evans is suffering an identity crisis at the centre of defence and needs to be led, instead of being the leader. Hernandez and Welbeck embodied themselves as people who wish to leave whilst Man Utd's midfield showed no characteristics of Roy Keane, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and David Beckham. The last time Manchester United spent big money on a midfielder was Owen Hargreaves! Ander Herrera has to deal with this pressure of the price tag, and needs to learn fast. The fear with Man Utd fans is that these attacking signings are trying to overlook their defensive problems. Even then he has his own injury problems.

However, the deals for Di Maria and Falcao show a signal of intent. Personally, I think Di Maria's fee is too high, but against Burnley he showed flashes. After being highlighted on Match of the Day, Manchester United had the best winger for the past 22 years. Giggs looks to be have been replaced immediately, whilst no successor has been found for Paul Scholes. One 60 yard pass to the feet of Robin Van Persie displayed his flashiness, whilst his tracking back will help the poor defence of Man Utd. With a poorer defence than The Cloud, help is needed, and that he can provide. Let's not forget too that he won the Champions League and appeared in a World Cup Final last year.

Yet, with no European football, how have they managed to get him and Falcao! Falcao played no European football last year either but that has not hindered his outstanding progress. Damage to his cruciate ligaments may cause a hindrance and is one of the various reasons as to why he did not join Real Madrid in the window. A man who made his debut as a 13 year old at Lanceros Boyaka, he has come a very long way. He is the first player to win the Europa League in two consecutive years with two different teams (Porto and Athletico Madrid) and was instrumental in the latter's 3-0 win against Athletic Bilbao, cutting inside and burying a 20 yarder in the top corner in the blink of an eye. 72 goals in 87 games for Porto and 70 goals in 92 games for Athletico shows he is winner and knows how to score goals. He has come on a loan deal for £6million, but if he stays clear of injuries he will be lethal.

Nevertheless, Falcao and Di Maria will be expected to cover up United's defensive fragility. The running trend on social media of Van Gaal playing three left backs is humorous, but in all seriousness they will not boast many clean sheets this season, despite the new recruits. Shaw was definitely bought for the future, whilst Blind and Rojo will be thrown straight into the lion's den. Yes it has been a poor start but Man Utd will be around at the end of the season in the top four, and the owners seem to trust Van Gaal. Shame they never had the same amount of trust in David Moyes, who coincidentally started off better than his Dutch successor.

We will not see many 5-5s but we will witness many high scoring games with United this season. I watched the MK Dons game in Middlesbrough, and whilst not many people were in the pub, those that were, were in hysterics. Van Gaal is proven all over Europe, and will bring back the fear factor. Despite this, many teams will still fancy their chances this season against them. Why? Because the defence still looks weak, and other teams around them have improved, even the likes of Hull.

United are in a dangerous place, and need to satisfy their owners. After a long period of dominance they may fall into a similar scenario to Liverpool and spend years in mid-table. With their debts, that is something they cannot afford to do without European football...