Tuesday 17 February 2015

Falcao's United future cause for huge concern

Like United supporters everywhere, when Radamel Falcao was first linked with joining us, I had to do a double take.

It seemed too good to be true: a player who most football fans would put in their world's top five strikers, at Old Trafford, linking up with Wayne Rooney, Robin Van Persie, Juan Mata and Angel Di Maria.

Yet true it was: boy, at the time it was even worth staying up until 2am to make sure the deal had gone through.
Surely now, with a forward line that would leave even Real Madrid trembling, United would be unstoppable....

Only it has not worked out that way.
There is no debating Falcao's work rate and commitment to the Red cause, but the sign of him toiling alone up top at Preston on Monday indicated just what a struggle life at United has been.

The fact that the away fans broke out in cheers when he was hauled off after an hour said it all: the fact that his replacement, Ashley Young, had far more of an impact on the game was actually quite sad.

I feel sorry for Falcao: he suffered a debilitating knee injury that ruled him out of the World Cup and this has unquestionably had an affect on the Colombian.

But there must be more to his performances, or lack of, than that.
Every player has injuries, it's part of the game.
Indeed, I have often felt that LVG has changed our system several times over to try and fit Falcao into it but, whatever the manager does, nothing seems to work.

Four goals all season tells its own story. 

Granted, three of those have been crucial: the winner against Everton and predatory strikes at Stoke and Aston Villa to earn United away draws. 

He has been frustrated too, by a lack of service, but, when he does receive the ball, he has looked slow on it and does not react quickly enough when chances do come his way.
At Deepdale, his movement was poor and he was kept in check by the back three of the League One side.

For a player fighting for his future, Falcao simply has not done enough to convince me, or I'm sure, van Gaal that he warrants a long-term career at United.

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