The Baffling Bungle Of Angel Di Maria’s Man Utd Career: What Is And What Should Have Never Been

Chris Wright

28th, July 2015


By Chris Wright

Alas, it looks for all the world like Angel Di Maria’s brief Premier League adventure is at an end.

Despite his scheduled post-season annual leave elapsing, the Argentinian winger has not joined his Manchester United colleagues on tour in America and is expected instead to sign for PSG before the week is out – thus bringing to a premature conclusion his largely barren dalliance with English football, one year into a five-year contract.

We came close to seeing the best of him. That goal against Leicester City way back in the primordial mists of last September. A magisterial little lob. But that was about it, by and large.

Of course there were other flourishes hither and thither, but Di Maria just looked limp in a Manchester United shirt. Limp and bloody miserable.

This, for a player who thrives on effervescence and spontaneity, was tantamount to surrender. Whether he couldn’t get going or just plain didn’t care, watching him weeble intermittently through games was just…well, disappointing.

So what went wrong? Even with the exorbitant money taken out of the equation, Di Maria, in general, has been the square root of garbage for United – totally flaccid, useless. A marzipan dildo, to quote one of the greats.

With the money placed back in the equation, the Press Association have done the maths and worked out that he has cost United £612,500 per game – and that’s only if they manage to recoup £45million for him from PSG (the Ligue 1 champions have opened the bidding at £29million). We hope they kept the receipt.

For the majority of his debut season he looked uninterested, unwilling and at odds with absolutely everything: his position, his role, the amount of defensive responsibility he was tasked with, the dynamic of the team, the language, the fans, his teammates, his manager, being tackled, England in general.

On the domestic front, the attempted burglary on his new family home in January definitely didn’t help, though we wonder if such an event – while undoubtedly traumatic at the time – should still be wicking away your life essence four or five months on down the line.

As well as the sporadic and disruptive hamstring woes, there’s also an argument that Louis van Gaal mis-managed him past the point of no return. Players of Di Maria’s flighty, creative ilk need mollycoddling, to feel both unburdened and supported. The helping hand, not the iron fist.

Sadly, the luxury player has a hard time proving his worth in today’s rigid, hyper-strategised football framework. Simply turning it on as and when isn’t acceptable any more, it would seem.

It was this exact same lack of conviction that eventually led to Di Maria’s slide down the food chain at Real Madrid. The only difference is that it’s all been fast-forwarded at United. Maybe it’s just in his nature?

When all is said and done, the most disappointing aspect for Pies is that, while it may have taken that enormous £59.7million wodge to get him here, Di Maria is/was one of the decidedly few genuine elite level, top-of-the-tree players to arrive ready-made in the Premier League from foreign soil as opposed to the other way round.

For all the money and Sky Sports-peddled ‘Best League In The World™’ hyperbole, it’s not often Premier League clubs are actually able to entice the top-tier stars of Europe’s major clubs unto their bosom.

Arsenal have made a decent fist of it by signing Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez, but other good examples are a little harder to come by.

We want to see these wonderful players thrive, prove to the braying masses just how good they really are. To see a player of Di Maria’s capability reduced to a flimsy punchline is soul-sapping, though frustratingly difficult to argue with.

Posted in Featured, Ligue 1, Man Utd, Newsnow, Real Madrid, Transfers & Rumours

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  1. Foran44 says:

    Could losing the World Cup in the final have anything to do with his apparent lack of interest?

  2. Mr Sensible says:

    Problem is he’s been frustratingly inconsistent all his career bar his last season with Real and his time at United was pretty much the same.

    He openly admitted to wanting to joing PSG last summer and I think the eventual move to United never went down to well with his family, add the burglary and I think it made up the mind of his wife in particular.

    What’s strange is why LVG bought him in the first place when he has been so public in demanding his players to follow his philosophy of a possession based game and on many occasions said that di Maria fails to do this. But this was no surprise to anyone who has seen him play which would then lead me to believe that buying him wasn’t LVG’s idea but more the club who saw him as a big name to show the world we still have power.

    What the di Maria and Falcao signings have hopefully shown our club is that big names aren’t the answer if they don’t fit into the plans of the manager.

  3. Zeke says:

    Mr Sensible if you have names such as di Maria and Falcao in your team and they “don’t fit with your tactics” then you adapt your tactics. You can’t just waste the opportunity of taking the advantage of having elite players in your team. You wouldn’t disregard Messi or Cristiano if they’re in your squad, right?

  4. One Man Went to Mow says:

    It’s funny, no body is ever a nice about Torres’ time at Chelsea and he left with a handful of medals around his neck too.

  5. bob says:

    The ADM situation is hardly baffling or a mystery. Look at the season he had at Real before coming to United: he was easily one of the best players in the world, having the season of his life, with freedom to roam around the attacking parts of the pitch in a team that was setup to play quick attacking football and use the flair players properly. Then Real’s president decided to get rid of him and unfortunately for ADM he ended up being managed by Van Gaal who is hardly the kind of manager who encourages free, attacking, flair football or players. It’s like taking a ferrari and expecting it to do the job of a functional computer-programed smart car. The season he had at Madrid easily made him worth £60m but LVG has no clue how to get the best out of him and refuses to adapt to his talents (after all, it took LVG almost all season to figure out his best team and formation). I feel sorry for such a top talent being under such a boring and structural manager. Give him a manager who encourages attacking football and plays to his strengths and United fans will quickly see “what coud have been”.

  6. Jacques says:

    Funny how the blame for under performing big money buys isn’t put on the manager anymore. if you think of United alone Gary Birtles had a huge impact on the way Dave Sexton was eventually axed at United and even as recent an example as Juan Veron placed Fergie under alot of pressure…. but there hasn’t been one major story surrounding Di Maria or any other Transfer flops that put the manager in the spotlight. funny how things change…

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