Technically, Manchester United did better in its second game than in its season opener.
But a 1-1 draw won’t cut it.
“We have one point and that is not good enough for Manchester United,” Louis Van Gaal said (via BBC.com). “We have to work a lot. The players are very disappointed after the game because we thought we would win.”
Man U finished in a draw with Sunderland, after losing its English Premier League (and van Gaal debut) opener to Swansea City.
“Manchester United must show people they are a team to be feared again,” van Gaal said. “For large parts of last season, teams treated a fixture against them as just another game.”
The expected signing of Angel di Maria may do only so much to help, as The Guardian noted:
United are also a club struggling to relocate a tactical and stylistic compass as Van Gaal’s injury-hit squad attempts to adapt to his new 3-5-2 system, a configuration which seems unlikely to survive once Di María makes his expected arrival. “You need creative passing in the last third but our balls were not so good,” said Van Gaal. “We were dominating without creating chances. There were so many chances we didn’t create. And that’s disappointing. The players are very disappointed because we had thought we would win today but we have only one point.”
After the defeat to Swansea, Van Gaal conceded confidence within his squad had been “smashed”, and after Sunday’s draw he agreed it remains some way from restoration. “We are training every day in passing and kicking,” he said. “But we have to improve and we have to work a lot.”