By: Danny Shin
Manchester United’s 1-0 win over Manchester City on Sunday was the latest of unpredictable results for Louis Van Gaal’s side, with the manager developing a habit of winning matches he shouldn’t and losing matches he should win.
While it’s fair to point out that City were without center back Vincent Kompany and Nicolas Otamendi, these losses certainly did not guarantee a victory for United.
For starters, no one expected 18-year-old Marcus Rashford to score in his first appearance in the Manchester Derby. While Martin Demichelis has been a liability for City, it’s not as if Rashford is some unstoppable world-class forward.
The young striker became the latest of a long line of academy products to debut during Van Gaal’s reign. Less than a month ago, he scored twice against FC Midtjylland in the Europa League, before scoring two more goals against Arsenal three days later.
Still, this was not Van Gaal’s grand plan. After allowing Robin van Persie, Radamel Falcao and Javier Hernandez to leave, while only bringing in Anthony Martial as a replacement, Rashford is the only option in light of Wayne Rooney’s injury.
So for all the praise Van Gaal has received for playing youth and getting wins over Liverpool, Arsenal and City, there’s no guarantee of United getting a result in their next game.
Following the international break this weekend, United’s next match is against Everton on April 3. After a convincing 3-0 win at Goodison Park earlier in the season, don’t put it past United to see a similar scoreline. However, the concern is that United could end up either side of that result. Trying to predict the result of a United match is impossible.
There’s no consistency in this United squad, as evidenced by the different lineups every week, either due to injury, or because of Van Gaal implementing some bizarre tactical approach. The youngsters are inexperienced, so no one can expect them to perform at an elite level every time out.
United fans wrote of their chances of finishing in the top four weeks ago. Now, they find themselves one point away from replacing rival City. But just as faith returns, that’s when United are the most disappointing.
Remember the 2-1 loss to Sunderland on Feb. 13, or the 1-0 loss to West Brom just a couple of weeks ago? With the top four in sight with eight matches remaining, Man United is bound to disappoint, right?