There’s no point in denying that Manchester United FC came off of a brilliant pre-season.
The surge of positive energy and results could largely be attributed to the presence of new manager Louis Van Gaal. The United team also seemed determined to prove to the world that last season was a fluke, a minor setback.
The United team certain has an easy run of games to start off their 2014-15 Premier League season. Easy, at least, when looked at on paper.
The first opponent that most football fans expected to give the Manchester side a real worry was Everton FC, a rival they won’t play against until October.
That optimistic outlook was shattered on Saturday with a loss at Old Trafford to Swansea City AFC.
It’s true that a 2-1 loss to Swansea City is hardly a crushing defeat.
However, there is the uncomfortable fact that this loss marked the first season opener that ended in defeat for Manchester United since 1972.
Vote: @SwansOfficial 2-1 win at @ManUtd the most impressive of the weekend 33%. 2nd @MCFC 22% with @Arsenal 3rd 12% pic.twitter.com/knTTdntdqn
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) August 18, 2014
That’s definitely not a record that Van Gaal wanted broken on his watch, especially with all the terrible records set during David Moyes’s time as manager.
No doubt the loss is a disappointment for the Manchester United team and their fans. It was hoped after the lackluster showing of last season that this team would hit the ground running.
There’s still time for Manchester to gather steam before October, but if they fail to do so…this team could be in trouble.
"We never played as a team. That's our error" – Van Gaal on #MUFC's opening loss http://t.co/UaqGynRFN3 #BPLkickoff pic.twitter.com/EJUOw0jbmG
— Premier League (@premierleague) August 18, 2014
Fall is filled with rival teams that will be scrambling to get a hold of or maintain a top four position in the Premier League.
If Manchester United’s early run reveals the team to be lacking in form and confidence, then they will experience the same level of indifference expressed by seemingly weaker sides last season.
Without the intimidation factor, a shaken and deflated Man United dropped points to unlikely opponents. When all was said and done, the team fell from first to seventh in the league and completely out of European contention for this season.
Sigurdsson's strike saw @SwansOfficial beat @ManUtd in @PremierLeague opener. Report & pics – http://t.co/5Ot7kY1j4h pic.twitter.com/QN0nzpeEda
— FIFA.com (@FIFAcom) August 16, 2014
One defeat is hardly a sensible reason to write off the Red Devils, and no one in their right mind would do so.
Manchester United must take away all possible lessons to be learned from this game (especially defensive lessons) and recover as soon as possible. Otherwise it will be yet another season of life in mid-table purgatory.
Image via YouTube