Manchester United have had a terrible start to the season. From being the bookmakers’ pick to finish in the top four alongside Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea, United now look unlikely to finish sixth – a nightmare for those expecting a title challenge from them.
From a betting point of view United have become a strange side as well. Home games are impossible to call – the odds now favour visitors more than the hosts – and there is an over-reliance on Cristiano Ronaldo in scoring goals.
United have long been the most popular football team around the world, especially in the Far East in regions like Vietnam where bookmakers like Vwin have leveraged the popularity of the Red Devils to attract new customers as well as build new gambling games like Bongdaso.
However, recent results would have made punters circumspect about putting money on United. The team needs to rebound after the international break, and they are desperately looking for a hero from within.
As such, the Manchester United players have reportedly voiced their discontent over Donny van de Beek’s treatment at Old Trafford as the Dutchman continues to struggle for game time under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
According to the Daily Mail, players are urging the under-pressure manager to give the Dutchmen a chance to turn Man United’s fortunes around.
Van de Beek has lost his place in the Netherlands national team following a nightmarish experience at United.
The Oranje boss Louis van Gaal already warned the 24-year-old midfielder he needs to secure regular first-team football in the Premier League if he is to return to the national team.
Van de Beek has been omitted from the national team in the last two international breaks since the 70-year-old took over the managerial reins at the ‘Flying Dutchmen’ in the wake of their Euro 2020 fiasco.
As things stand right now, the former Ajax starlet is unlikely to wear the Netherlands jersey anytime soon, as Solskjaer continues to keep the youngster on the fringes at Old Trafford.
Man United forked out £35million plus add-ons to capture the midfielder’s services from the Eredivisie heavyweights in the summer of 2020, hoping he would help shape a new era at the Theatre of Dreams.
However, the adaptation took longer than expected, with Van de Beek making a measly four Premier League starts in the 2020/21 campaign.
The player, who played a prominent role in helping Ajax reach the Champions League semi-finals in 2019, has found himself at the bottom of the pecking order at United.
Nothing has changed since the beginning of last season. In fact, it looks like Van de Beek’s situation has gone from bad to worse, as he has only registered 16 minutes of top-flight action this term.
After making a late cameo appearance in a 4-1 thumping of Newcastle in early September, the versatile midfielder was brought on for the last ten minutes in United’s 2-0 defeat to Manchester United over the weekend.
Though he struggled to make an impact down the final stretch of the game that saw Solskjaer’s side utterly outclassed by Pep Guardiola’s team, Van de Beek received a warm welcome from the home fans.
Fans at Old Trafford voiced their support for the out-of-favour Dutchmen by chanting his name from the stands, and it seems the players have now joined the supporters in pressuring Solskjaer to play the youngster more often.
A series of underwhelming results in the Premier League is very much a consequence of United’s lackulstre performances in the middle of the park.
It’s become clear the Red Devils are struggling to control matches in the midfield, with the likes of Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba and Fred continuing to blow hot and cold.
Indeed, the only thing that could dig United out of trouble at the moment is a change in personnel, especially in the midfield, where they can benefit from taking a gamble with Van de Beek.
Given his showings back during his time at Ajax and some cup games for United, the prodigious midfielder deserves the benefit of the doubt, something his teammates are now trying to explain to Solskjaer.
Since United will have a sizeable contingent performing for their national teams in the upcoming two weeks, Van de Beek could try to convince the gaffer to hand him a long-awaited opportunity to showcase his skills.
Considering United’s steady decline in the Premier League standings and the team’s overall performances on multiple fronts, including the Champions League, it seems that Solskjaer has nothing to lose.
Problems are stacking, and throwing Van de Beek into the mix as part of the solution could be the best thing to have happened to the Norwegian manager since Cristiano Ronaldo’s return in the summer.