Discussions over Angel Di Maria's alarming slump in form has dominated newspapers, TV punditry and radio airwaves over the past few weeks but reached its nadir when he was subbed at half-time on Saturday.
Our number 7 was- to put it mildly- simply atrocious in the
first half of Saturday's 2-0 win over Sunderland.
He gave the ball
away countless times (one such occasion almost leading to a Black
Cats goal), he shirked tackles, did not track back to reclaim
possession, blazed a 20 yard free-kick woefully over the bar, and
worst of all, passed the ball out of play when clean through on
I don't like criticising players but Di Maria is so far removed
from the player who looked a world beater for the first four months
of the season that, despite his club record £59.7 million price tag,
LVG should seriously think about giving him a break (by that I mean
You do not become a bad player overnight- especially when
you're a player who was considered one of the world's best at Real
Madrid and played a pivotal role in getting his country to last
summer's World Cup final.
Di Maria's house was recently broken into, and that, along with
having to play many differing positions in a constantly changing
system, has undoubtedly had an effect on his form and confidence.
In his first months at United, Di Maria looked every inch the
player that persuaded the Reds to sign him: strong on the ball,
skillful, direct and quick, everything good about United went through
In his first five games for the Reds, he scored three times
and claimed three assists.
Di Maria will return to the player he was- talk of his demise
as a genuine world class talent, is, in my eyes, a little wide of the
mark, but for this to happen he needs support from his team-mates,
the coaching staff and assurances about his role in this United
Manager Louis van Gaal has said that Di Maria still needs time
to adapt but that he is "only human" and that is is "normal
for a player new to this country."
"We have to give him time to adapt and also to
lift his confidence again.
“He is a human being like me and you,
you can make mistakes but he is a top sportsman so he will overcome
this period, of that I am sure.”