Ángel Di María's recent form has been one of the more frustrating aspects of Manchester United's recent performances, because it's never fun to watch an extravagantly talented, extravagantly expensive footballer play like his laces are tied together. At least, not if he's playing for somebody you support.
But Louis van Gaal is sanguine about the performances of the player he substituted at half-time on Saturday. Speaking to the press ahead of Wednesday's game, he put the Argentine's struggle down to a perfectly normal period of adjustment:
It counts for all the players that we have bought, the first season is always difficult. I have explained that in the press conference after the match. You can see it to every player we have bought: Shaw, Blind, Herrera, Falcao and also Di María. For me it is not a big surprise, it is more a big surprise when [if] he [had] adapted as quickly as possible. [...] We have to give him time as I have already said, not just for him but to all the other players — we shall wait and see.
Not bad. Not quite "He's a fucking great player, and youse are all fuckin' idiots," of course. But not bad.