The much-anticipated Adidas kit launch video featured a well-written poem strategically placed in that ad spot to incite fervor amongst the red devil faithful. These words so bold and intimidating, with the requisite phlogiston enough to thaw even the most frigid of hearts – “We are Manchester United, forged a three-pronged weapon, Attack! Attack! Attack…a trident to break expectations”.
The swell of anticipation about the possibilities of the heights that could be attained by this new look United squad was somewhat dulled in the league opener against Tottenham at Old Trafford. It was a better start from the first Van Gaal campaign mind you, as the devils fell at home against a peppy Swansea side. But the 1-0 win, via a Kyle Walker own goal, felt like a shot across the bough with dry gunpowder rather than a team with the necessary armament to break expectations.
Memphis and Rooney failed to make the desired impact up front.
Walker fought hard to keep Young in check all game, his own goal coming when Young switched flanks.
At times it felt like Groundhog Day, only with a few new actors. Memphis occupied the hole behind Wayne Rooney, another zany invention brought to you from the Louis van Gaal school of the utterly mysterious. The towering Schneiderlin partnered Carrick in the holding position, with the dynamic Herrera missing out – another puzzling decision from the Dutch trainer-coach.