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|LOUIS van Gaal has always said it could get worse before it gets better at Manchester United.
He couldn’t have thought it would get this bad.
Barely two months ago Cheap Women's Air Max 97 GS Shoes Varsity Red White Australia , a jubilant van Gaal was leaping out of his seat and high-fiving his Netherlands players as he masterminded a 5-1 thrashing of Spain at the World Cup in Brazil.
Compare that to the glum, stony-faced figure of van Gaal who remained glued to his seat during United’s humiliating 0-4 loss to third-tier club MK Dons in the second round of the League Cup on Tuesday.
To the right of him, Ryan Giggs — a club great who is now van Gaal’s assistant coach — buried his face in his hands.
Even though United fielded a virtual reserve team, albeit one containing established internationals like Javier Hernandez, Danny Welbeck and Shinji Kagawa, it was one of the most embarrassing results in the history of England’s biggest club.
Following on from a winless start in the English Premier League after two games of van Gaal’s tenure, serious doubts are already being raised about the Dutchman’s use of the 3-5-2 formation and the lack of depth in his squad, especially in defense.
“The process needs time,” van Gaal said. “We know exactly what we are doing.”
Time is something United doesn’t have.
David Moyes only lasted 10 months last season before being fired, and van Gaal has already virtually written off United’s chances of winning the Premier League in this second straight year of transition at Old Trafford.
With no European football this season, the FA Cup remains the only genuine opportunity for silverware — and it is still only August.
The optimism of preseason, when United won six straight games under van Gaal, including victories over Real Madrid and Liverpool, has disappeared.
Van Gaal is now left hoping a spending spree of about 130 million pounds (US$215 million), capped by the club-record signing of Angel Di Maria for US$99 million hours before the MK Dons game, pays off.
Van Gaal has played three at the back in his time at United but his defenders look uncomfortable in that formation and the wing backs — so crucial in a 3-5-2 — utilized by the Dutchman have no experience in that position. Di Maria’s arrival will not just introduce pace and fresh ideas into the team’s midfield, it might also mean United changing tactics.
With less than a week before the transfer window shuts, the loss again highlighted the need for defensive reinforcements. Left back Luke Shaw and left-sided defender Marcos Rojo have joined but United appears to still require an experienced center back.
The defending was awful against MK Dons, with Jonny Evans — a regular in recent seasons — to blame for the first goal.
Van Gaal didn’t escape blame, either, with critics questioning why he felt the need to rest star players like Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie and Juan Mata when United isn’t in Europe this season.
With only the league to concentrate on until January, the loss may boost United’s chances of getting back in the top four and returning to the Champions League.
For the time being, though, the embarrassment remains acute.
“I’m not shocked because I know what can happen,” Van Gaal said. “A new team is not built in one month.”
By Oliver Trust
BERLIN, Sept. 17 (Xinhua) -- To fulfill big dreams in football, patience is vital. That' s the story behind Bayern Munich' s narrow 1-0 victory in the Champions League opener against the English champions Manchester City on Wednesday night.
The winner was scored by defender Jerome Boateng in the 90th minute. It was his first Champions League goal. Despite huge injury problems, Bayern was the more efficient of probably the two strongest teams in Group E. For the initial stage of this season' s campaign, Bayern' s aim appears to be that of surviving the group without unnecessarily putting their nerves to the test.
Against City, Bayern started in front of a crowd of 68,000 fans with a back line of three with newcomer Mehdi Benatia, Jerome Boateng and David Alaba. In front of them was row of four with Rafinha, Philipp Lahm, Xabi Alonso and Juan Bernat.
Rafinha and Bernat were to fall back whenever City attacked to form a five-man defensive line. Austrian-born Alaba and the Spaniard Bernat soon changed positions on the left and Alaba drove Bayern' s game forward in support of the right winger Thomas Mueller, center forward Robert Lewandowski and left winger Mario Goetze.
Alonso duly reverted back to a position immediately in front of Bayern' s defense and had a vital role to play in his third appearance for the club.
While both teams playing keep ball, Bayern' s tactics were to get behind Manchester' s defense and it worked rather well, but Mueller, Goetze, Alaba, Robben and Lewandowski all missed good chances as did Edin Dzeko for Manchester when not hitting the target with two headers.
Manchester rarely found space for attacking forays as Bayern was the dominant team with over 60 percent of possession after Guardiola made some successful tactical changes. From the back row of three he went for the back row of four. Beginning with a 3-4-3 system Bayern ended up with a 4-1-2-3 system, gaining more game control and offensive power. Bayern additionally had 20 shots on goal to their opponent' s eight.
Bayern won its eleventh consecutive Champions League opener despite missing far too many chances in the 90 minutes as Manchester keeper Joe Hart made some great saves despite missing a number of crosses.
The big question now is, how long can Bayern survive without its strongest line up? Bayern coach Pep Guardiola has to come up with some ideas in the next games against Moscow and Rome and before the start of the round of the last 16 in February.
Against Manchester, his answers were spot on despite the fact that he had to change his l
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