The Columbian striker has been scoring goals with ease internationally and this isn’t the first time he has excelled after meeting up with his Columbian team mates this season. So it begs the question, was Falcao a flop in the Premier League or were Manchester United’s tactics just not made to suit him?
If there was one thing we knew about Falcao before the 2014/15 season, it’s that he knows how to score goals. After it, we looked at him as damaged goods.
Louis van Gaal was given the near impossible task to take over Manchester United put them back at the top where they belong. He started with a massive player overhaul and let most of his players go whilst bringing big summer signings in. Radamel Falcao was one of them.
The Manchester United fans adored ‘El Tigre’ but he just wasn’t living up to his expectations. He had recently recovered from a knee injury that had pulled him out of the World Cup, so signing him was already a huge gamble on van Gaal’s part.
When it comes to pure, raw strikers, Falcao is one of them but not many are around today. With the likes of Luis Suarez, Sergio Aguero (who is slowly turning into Centre forward) being two hugely successful ones. Radamel Falcao is among the list, but the way Manchester United play just did not help his cause to become one of the greats again.
Van Gaal’s system can only work if he has a solid CF, which is why when Wayne Rooney moved back into his natural CF position, he excelled at United. He knows how to track back, he knows how to feed his team. He can play with the likes of Robyn van Persie a just ahead of him, because he knows that the only objective isn’t to score goals, it’s to help out the team in general too.
Falcao just isn’t cut out for that. He makes the runs into the opposing teams’ defences, he creates gaps and he gave Manchester United an extra option. But the ball was just not played to him. Louis van Gaal strives off the possession football that worked so well at Barcelona, but Falcao needs his team to be more risky, he needs his team to play direct football, football that will get him goals. Manchester United just could not offer him that.
Jose Mourinho on the other hand knows how to get the best out of a player. Chelsea also play the kind of football that Falcao could be looking for. We’ve seen Diego Costa thrive under Jose Mourinho, who’s to say Falcao will not?
The Chelsea manager says it “hurts” him that the British football public have got the wrong impression of the Colombia striker, and wants to help him regain his prolific form. (Lee, 2015)
The striker could rekindle his goal scoring form if he completes a move to the Blues. But will it be a gamble worth taking after having failed his first season in ‘the best league in the world’.
Main Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Mark Leech Sports Photography/Getty Images