Manchester United’s record signing Angel Di Maria is convinced that the club is on the right track and believes that the recent criticism of the team and the manager has been unwarranted.
United went 11 games unbeaten (all competitions), before suffering a shock defeat to Southampton at Old Trafford on Sunday. Di Maria, who started the match but wasn’t able to make much of an impact, believes comparing this team to the legendary United teams of old is unfair.
The Argentine, in fact, is of the opinion that under Louis Van Gaal, the club is getting a new identity. Talking to the club’s in-house channel MUTV, Di Maria said, “From the start of the season to now, you can see that we’ve grown. We weren’t so great at the beginning but we’ve started getting a few victories under our belts.”
“There are some people saying that we’re not playing in a particularly good style or that it’s not the old Manchester United – but it’s not. We’re beginning something new here. We’ve got a new style, we’ve got a new manager and we’re all working hard to make sure we’re putting Manchester United back where it belongs.
“We’re focusing on growing as a team, working hard and getting as many points as we can. We all know the Premier League is difficult but all we’re focusing on now is meeting our objectives and our targets for the year.
“So whether it’s qualifying for the Champions League, making sure that we do well in the FA Cup or getting as high in the league as possible, these are things we are going for now.”
While the former Real Madrid man started his career at United in stunning fashion, he admitted that injuries had hampered his progress.
“It is difficult for a player, especially when you come to a new club,” he said. “You just want to arrive and you want to show them how well you can play so, when these things happen, it is unfortunate but, that said, the important thing was that when I came back, I needed to make sure that I could help the team and that’s what I did.
“It’s important for me and important for the team to be really doing my best and showing what I am capable of.”
Interestingly though, Di Maria hasn’t done too badly as he has scored 4 goals and made 6 assists in the 14 games that he has played for the Red Devils. The Argentine was also the Premier League’s only representative in FIFA’s team of the year that was announced on Monday.
On the other hand, fellow United man Robin Van Persie was left red faced after he announced on twitter that because he isn’t present at the Ballon d’Or ceremony, Ruud Gullit would collect the Puskas award for him. Of course, the award went to Colombian James Rodriguez and Van Persie’s hit and miss season continued.