I dream, eat and breathe football. Follow me on my journey with Manchester United.
- Manu Aravind
20 Nov, 2015
The international break is finally over and, as always, there are injuries. Carrick, Fellaini, Martial and Valencia have all been sidelined. Wayne Rooney, too is out with illness. The season has been long and completely unpredictable. The former champions Chelsea are failing miserably. United's matches have all been different from one another. At times, we've delivered classic performances worthy of being hailed as Champions and at other times, all we did was control possession with no intent of attacking. We always lost the ball at the final 3rd.

But in all of this, van Gaal has proved that the squad is capable. United have hit 3 games in a row with 0 - 0 in this time as well. We did manage to score 1 past West Brom before the break. And now, we face Watford without our big guns to fire. But atleast Memphis Depay and James Wilson would be given chances. Depay has at times shown glimpses of what he is capable of. He is wearing the Legendary no. 7 and he is naturally expected to deliver even more.

Another problem this season has been the lack of desire to shoot. Our biggest goal threat this season has been Martial and no one else. That isn't how Manchester United should be. If we roll back the years, one thing in common with all the squads was that United scored goals, and lots of 'em! Well, this season, it seems as though we've been more concerned with passing. We find the likes of Schweinsteiger and Rooney trying to create chances for others more often than trying for goal themselves. Probably if they went for goal right from outside the box or just inside, instead of passing in those areas, it'd b better. But then again, LvG calls the shots and hopefully, we're able to improve. The impressive thing this season is our defence. We're currently experiencing a remarkable run of clean sheets thanks to brilliant works by Smalling, Blind, Rojo, Darmian and De Gea. And so, we find ourselves placed 4th in the league table. A win against Watford would temporarily elevate us onto 1st place.

30 Jul, 2015
As the pre-season ends with 3 victories out of 4 against Club America, San Jose Earthquakes, FC Barcelona and Paris Saint Germain, Louis van Gaal finally seems to get a hang of the United squad. A 4-3-3 formation is the likeliest with Memphis Depay occupying the No. 10 position, just behind Rooney. With the addition of new players like Memphis Depay, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Morgan Schneiderlin, Matteo Darmian and Sergio Romero, experience and speed are sure to come. We've witnessed glimpses of it during the tour. And with LvG on the hunt for a 'surprise' player, with the speed and ability to turn the odds of any match in the team's favour, success is imminent in the 2015-16 campaign. Though the last match didn't end quite as well as we wanted, the Premier League opener against Spurs is surely the all-important match.

I am really satisfied about the performance. Yeah, we lose, but maybe that is also good because last year we won everything [on tour] and then we lost the first match in the Premier League. Now the sequence is a little bit different. But I am not superstitious.

Our U-21 players are the ones who benefited from the tour as they've had ore first team experience. And adding to this, our injury list is empty as of now. So, we can definitely look forward to starting the season pretty well as compared to last season. If we have a good start, our confidence will be high and the rest of the season should go well.

The new season also marks the end of an era as the kits are gonna be made by Adidas from now on. So, Thank you Nike for all the fabulous kits over the years!

04 May, 2015
A match which we simply had to win, with the recent run of matches, ended in another loss. If there was anything good yesterday, it was seeing Fletcher return to Old Trafford. Another thing that was good was the way we dominated the match. But unfortunately, that was it. With the return of van Persie in the starting XI, it seemed inevitable that Rooney would be pushed back to midfield. That's where all the problem was. The change of position. This again happened in the second half when RVP was put in midfield and Fellaini put in attack. There's a reason why positions are named and why players prefer certain positions. It's because they are born to play there!

We could have utilised a 4-4-2 formation or even a 4-4-1-1 formation if Rooney was insistent on creating chances. But instead we put attacking midfielders like Herrera as defensive midfielders. How is that gonna work? When Fellaini played as a striker, the only thing we did was try and lob the ball onto his head, hoping he would assist. But credits are due to the West Brom defence as well. They narrowed down our attacks very effectively.

We were able to see glimpses of the glorious form of Di Maria when he dribbled past a few people and when he took a good shot. But he too didn't play his best. Nothing can be expected from Falcao when he's given only 10 minutes to play. He should have been put on earlier! We haven't lost 3 matches in a row in a long, long time, especially without scoring in one. If we are to qualify for the Champions League, we need to run the remaining three. Also, Chelsea's won the league this season, unsurprisingly.

28 Apr, 2015
After an undeserved loss at Stamford Bridge, came yet another loss, this time at Goodison Park. In the match against Chelsea, had the last minute penalty been awarded, a point might have been secured, giving hopes of somehow winning the title. But, only a top four finish is now possible. Victory against Everton would have pushed us to second, which is second best to winning. But, an early lead due to our defensive error changed the course of the match. We kept possession for long time, creating decent attacks but our finishing was poor. They pressed forward in the counter and were successful in set-pieces as well.

De Gea was powerless in this match as was Rooney, who tried to create more chances rather than attack himself. Rooney was always successful when he pushed forward and did what he does best : Score Goals! But he was not to be blamed alone, the others weren't creating that good a chance themselves. Valencia did good at moving forward, but did poor at marking the opposition which led to the second goal. So, it seems the curse of Goodison Park continues as we fail to win yet again for the third time in a row.

This match shows once again, how much we miss the Midfield Maestro, Michael Carrick. His calm and composed presence always led us to victory. Daley Blind failed to impress in his position. He lacked the attacking mentality and ability to pull in key passes. Blind is better off defending. He's already shown that this season. He's a natural Left-back and very good at intercepting. Whatever Louis van Gaal has to do, he needs to do it now. The last 4 mathces of the Premier League remain and we need to win all four of them to ensure a Champions League spot.

14 Apr, 2015
Derbies don't get much bigger than this. When the two halves of Manchester collide, the outcome is little but predictable. Having lost 4 of the previous meetings, victory was all that was acceptable. And victory was the result. A thrilling match with a final score of 4 - 2 and stellar performances from the likes of Ander Herrera, Juan Mata, Marouane Fellaini and Ashley Young silenced the opener from Aguero. Doubts were raised as we went 1 - 0 down, but we responded in a way we've always done before.

The big Belgian was key to our victory. Carrick, too was instrumental in the match with his accurate passes. He often slowed down the game and controlled the flow of the match.

It seems as though van Gaal's tactics and 'philosophy' are finally working. It took some time though, but all good things do take time. We face Chelsea next week at Stamford Bridge. They are in quite good a form themselves but when the red devils are rolling, we won't stop till we're finished.

05 Apr, 2015
A week or more without the Premier League seemed like an eternity, but the players were in fine form. A 3 - 1 victory that proved to be vital in the closing stages of the season. Fresh from the huge win at Anfield, thanks to a brace from Mata, hopes of a Champions League spot have been reassured. Another Spaniard that proved to be vital was Ander Herrera.

A not so much heard of player until last season, is slowly becoming a star at Old Trafford. Emulating Paul Scholes is what he wants to do and that exactly is what he's doing. Rooney with another magnificent goal with a classy first touch was what sealed the game.

Di Maria reaches 10 assists, the second highest in the league, which by his standards is nothing, but given that he's having a bad season is not bad at all.

Next up is City, but this time at home. Last time we met this season, we were close to winning if not for the red card. We were pressing a lot and made a lot of chances. But that was a long time ago and now LvG has found the team he was looking for. 7 games remain and anything could happen!

20 Mar, 2015
The match against Tottenham went really well, a 3 - 0 victory that definitely showed class, reminiscent of the teams of Sir Alex. Juan Mata played and as expected, we won. Like I've mentioned before, Mata is a match winner. Rooney keeps on proving why he's meant to play as a striker. And of course the return of the midfield maestro, Michael Carrick was a huge boost. Debutant Andreas Pereira didn't disappoint either.

With great form, comes great confidence, and that is exactly what we need against Liverpool. We've already beaten them at Old Trafford this season, and nothing less than a win would be expected. But they too are in good form, which poses a problem. This match looks to be very unpredictable and could go either way.

14 Mar, 2015
As we mount a tough road, nearing the end of the campaign, we still have a lot of big matches that could prove vital in deciding a Champions League spot. And the match against Tottenham is one amongst them. LvG believes we still can become second. After a difficult set of matches in the last few weeks, especially the FA cup exit, our chances look slim. But Mata and Carrick are very optimistic about the future.

Chicharito and Nani are exactly the two people whom we are missing. The speed and set of skills they provide in game are what we have lacked this season. Nani has been in a great form as of late. Hernandez would have given us the late goals that has helped us very often. Hopefully they would remain as red devils again next season.

13 Mar, 2015
The one question that is persistent in every red devil. Will Cristiano Ronaldo ever return? Since that day in 2009, we have always wanted him to return. And when somebody asks him, this is his reply:

"Nobody knows, only God knows. The future, I don't know, but I'm very happy at Real," he said. "I signed a new deal one year ago but, the future, you never know."

Like he says, You never know. A return is well possible, but not in the near future. Perhaps 3-4 years later. Whatever happens he surely can make an impact!

24 Feb, 2015
A first half goal, thanks to Ander Herrera made it look like yet another victory. But the result proved wrong. 2 - 1 it ended. The team played well with Rooney finally up front pairing with RVP like old times.

Even with a solid formation of 4-4-2, we didn't manage to win. But van Gaal was certain that this was the perfect lineup. Or atleast close to. In order to win, I believe Mata is very crucial. He should have started instead of Fellaini.

If the loss wasn't bad enough, then we suffered another blow. van Persie got injured and ended up leaving in crutches. Looks like Falcao's got another chance, against Sunderland.

18 Feb, 2015

Rooney is undoubtedly an overall player who can play anywhere. But, playing him out if position too often is probably not the best move van Gaal made.

Rooney is maybe the best striker, I have explained that already a lot of times. It is not that anybody isn't a good player in my selection. I have to look at where each player can make the biggest contribution. It's the composition which is more important than the individual player.

van Gaal is right on one thing, Rooney is the best striker that we have. But shouldn't he play in a position where he contributes more? Wasn't he more successful up front? If we didn't have good midfielders, perhaps it would be the best choice. But we have the likes of Ander Herrera, Juan Mata, Fellaini, Januzaj who are all top quality players.

17 Feb, 2015
As we advance to the next round of the FA Cup, beating Preston North End 3 - 1, the cup seems ever so closer. But Arsenal stands in our way in the next round. The match wasn't an ideal one, though we got the result.

Meanwhile, El Tigre seems to be at a loss of form. But I believe that if given the time to stay next season, he will rise to become the person who used to score goals for fun.

31 Jan, 2015
The match ended 3 - 1, with goals from out of form strikers van Persie and Falcao and an own goal, which raises our confidence as well as our league position. Our winning form will hopefully continue till the end of the season.

With the rumour mill going round and round, Mats Hummels has, yet again, been linked with a transfer. But that mostly won't happen this time as van Gaal clearly mentioned:

We are doing nothing - that I have already said - but I read every day that I or Manchester United are interested in other players.

Elsewhere, Darren Fletcher is all set to move out, perhaps to West Ham United. Michael Carrick is ruled out with yet another injury.

23 Jan, 2015
It looks like Angel Di Maria is poised to play as striker yet again in the FA cup tie with Cambridge United and with van Gaal backing his decision:
"He played in the 4-4-2 in the left midfield position, but in the 3-5-2 he does not play so much because he has been injured,"

"Then he came back and I tried him as a striker because we also need pace in that position. We have to stretch the pitch - that is an important aspect of a striker, that he can stretch the pitch. Then you make the pitch bigger and your midfielders can play in a bigger space and play a better positional game than ever.

"So I tried that - I had to try it because I didn't have the preparation at the beginning of the season [Di Maria joined in late August]."

With respect to this, here's my predicted XI:

18 Jan, 2015
A 2 - 0 victory thanks to goals from Fellaini and Wilson ensured we remain at 4th spot. Fellaini has been exceptionally good this season. This was our first win, of many, of 2015. Champions League football may be possible next season if we continue this run of form till the end, with few losses.

12 Jan, 2015
The match against The Saints which was supposed to be yet another victory on the road to glory was, sadly a loss, though a 1-0 loss. The hope of winning the title is dented, but a top 4 finish is still possible. With new signing Victor Valdes set to be our second in command, behind De Gea, our defence is the only thing that needs repairs.

26 Dec, 2014
Tonight's match, set to start in 45 minutes is gonna be an interesting match. With Di Maria missing this match with yet another injury, Young and Valencia step up.

The starting XI:

De Gea, Jones, McNair, Evans Valencia, Carrick, Rooney, Mata, Young van Persie, Falcao.

02 Dec, 2014
As we face Stoke city tomorrow at Old Trafford, we look yet again to climb the table. With the long lost form of van Persie returning, our injury problems reducing, we certainly can have our confidence levels back up. The match against Hull City reminded everyone of the speed of our counter-attacks and our the attacking talent we possess.

So, here is the predicted starting XI:

De Gea, Smalling, Rojo, Valencia, Young, Mata, Fletcher, Januzaj, Rooney, Falcao, van Persie
Formation: 3-4-3

29 Nov, 2014
The match which is set to kick off in 5 hours will be yet another crucial match to help us climb the table. It looks like Luke Shaw and Dailey Blind will miss the match but, Falcao and Rojo could return.

Possible starting XI:

De Gea, Rojo, Smalling, McNair, Valencia, Mata, Carrick, Di Maria, Januzaj, Rooney, van Persie.

27 Nov, 2014
On this day in 1992, Eric Cantona was signed from Leeds United for a fee of 1.2 million and he proved to be pivotal in United's success. He ended his glorious career against West Ham on 11 May 1997.

25 Nov, 2014
devilishManu is a blog about the 20 time champions Manchester United. Here you will find all the news and updates related to the club. My name is Manu Aravind and I guess, I was destined to be a red devil.