Manchester United kicked off the Premier League in a disappointing manner as they lost to the visiting Swansea City 2-1.
After a dismal season last time out, which saw Manchester United finish the league in the seventh place and without European football, the appointment of Louis van Gaal had instilled the United faithful with optimism. The Red Devils won all their pre-season friendlies and were expected to kick off the season in style at home. But today’s opening game saw the club suffer a defeat at the hands of Gary Monk’s Swansea. United went behind after Ki Sung-yueng got Swansea the lead in the first half. A Wayne Rooney overhead kick leveled the score for the home side. Gylfi Sigurdsson scored the winner for the visitors in the 72nd minute.
Even though this was only one match, Van Gaal said that he was disappointed because his side didn’t play like a team.
“When you have so much preparation time and work so hard, it can’t get worse than this. We had great confidence and it got smashed down. But it’s one game of many. You are not champions after one game. The question is if we can play as a team, if we can reach the right level. We couldn’t do that today.
“Because of our wins in the US, expectation is so high. But I saw a lot of nervous players out there today, making wrong decisions. You have to cope with that pressure.”
After the initial acquisition of Luke Shaw and Anders Herrera, United have been very quiet in the the transfer market this summer and the United boss understands that his side needs to strengthen before the window closes in just over two weeks’ time.
“I have thought about new players, I have done since the US tour. I know the positions we need. But you can only buy the players when you know what they are expected to do.”
United started the match with the 3-5-2 formation before switching to a flat back four at the break.
“We can work with both systems,” said the Dutchman.
“I changed it at half-time to the system they have always played at Manchester United, then I changed it back again later. They showed unbelievable commitment and worked hard, but just didn’t reach the level.”
Robin van Persie missed the game as he continues to build his fitness and Van Gaal said: “Players have to be fit. That’s all there is to it.
“I couldn’t use Fellaini or Januzaj at the start because they came back late from the World Cup, RVP came back a week later than them. He is training with us now, and he is getting closer to being available for selection.”