Saturday 21 October 2017

What did Radamel Falcao, Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie and Angel Di Maria contribute?

Summer signings Radamel Falcao and Angel Di Maria failed to impress
Summer signings Radamel Falcao and Angel Di Maria failed to impress

Mark Bryans

Manchester United have one of the most expensively assembled attacking units in world football but all is not well for the Old Trafford stars.

Their wealth of talent has been questioned in recent weeks and were tested again at Upton Park, coming up short as Daley Blind was the man to provide a last-gasp equaliser.

Sam Allardyce's Hammers were without a number of injured defenders but the visitors still struggled to make a lasting impact and here, Mark Bryans examines each of United's attacking options and how they contributed.

WAYNE ROONEY

Although the Red Devils captain has been operating in a deeper role in recent months, the England skipper is still yet to have a shot on target in 2015 and Louis van Gaal must be worried that he is losing out on having Rooney in a position where he can really hurt the opposition.

In fact he proved more of a thorn in his own side's defence as he lost Cheikhou Kouyate for the opening goal and gave away possession cheaply on more than one occasion.

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Manchester United's Wayne Rooney (R) reacts near referee Mark Clattenburg during their English Premier League soccer match against West Ham United at the Boleyn Ground in London, February 8, 2015. REUTERS/Eddie Keogh (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT SOCCER) NO USE WITH UNAUTHORIZED AUDIO, VIDEO, DATA, FIXTURE LISTS, CLUB/LEAGUE LOGOS OR "LIVE" SERVICES. ONLINE IN-MATCH USE LIMITED TO 45 IMAGES, NO VIDEO EMULATION. NO USE IN BETTING, GAMES OR SINGLE CLUB/LEAGUE/PLAYER PUBLICATIONS. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS

ANGEL DI MARIA

United's club-record signing has not scored a league goal since October and has still not fully adjusted to the new, more central role given to him by van Gaal.

He fizzed a shot straight at Adrian as half-time approached but is far too often a peripheral figure for a player who cost so much and carries a reputation as a match-winner.

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Manchester United's Angel Di Maria during the Barclays Premier League match at Upton Park, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday February 8, 2015. See PA story SOCCER West Ham. Photo credit should read: John Walton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. Maximum 45 images during a match. No video emulation or promotion as 'live'. No use in games, competitions, merchandise, betting or single club/player services. No use with unofficial audio, video, data, fixtures or club/league logos.

ADNAN JANUZAJ

The emergence of the Belgian winger was one of very few positives of David Moyes' ill-fated United reign but he has flattered to deceive this season and has scored just once in the last 13 months.

With little contribution he was hauled off to make way for compatriot Marouane Fellaini as United chased the game.

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West Ham United's Alex Song battles for the ball with Manchester United's Adnan Januzaj during the Barclays Premier League match at Upton Park, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday February 8, 2015. See PA story SOCCER West Ham. Photo credit should read: John Walton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. Maximum 45 images during a match. No video emulation or promotion as 'live'. No use in games, competitions, merchandise, betting or single club/player services. No use with unofficial audio, video, data, fixtures or club/league logos.

RADAMEL FALCAO

Much has been made of the Monaco loanee's lack of goals and, despite adding a fourth of the season against Leicester last weekend, he still seems a yard off the pace.

Hit a tame effort wide shortly after West Ham went in front and wasted a superb chance after combining with van Persie - poking wide when clean through - and United still are yet to see the best of the Colombian.

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Manchester United's Radamel Falcao (bottom) is challenged by West Ham United's James Tomkins during their English Premier League soccer match at the Boleyn Ground in London, February 8, 2015. REUTERS/Eddie Keogh (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT SOCCER) NO USE WITH UNAUTHORIZED AUDIO, VIDEO, DATA, FIXTURE LISTS, CLUB/LEAGUE LOGOS OR "LIVE" SERVICES. ONLINE IN-MATCH USE LIMITED TO 45 IMAGES, NO VIDEO EMULATION. NO USE IN BETTING, GAMES OR SINGLE CLUB/LEAGUE/PLAYER PUBLICATIONS. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS

ROBIN VAN PERSIE

Making his 100th appearance for United, the Dutchman has himself admitted he needs to score more goals having been unable to return to the prolific levels that clinched the title in Sir Alex Ferguson's final season.

Caught a sweet volley that was kept out by Adrian, who also kept out a late, low effort - van Persie was sharp at times but still remains a shadow of his former self.

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Manchester United's Robin Van Persie reacts during their English Premier League soccer match against West Ham United at the Boleyn Ground in London, February 8, 2015. REUTERS/Eddie Keogh (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT SOCCER) NO USE WITH UNAUTHORIZED AUDIO, VIDEO, DATA, FIXTURE LISTS, CLUB/LEAGUE LOGOS OR "LIVE" SERVICES. ONLINE IN-MATCH USE LIMITED TO 45 IMAGES, NO VIDEO EMULATION. NO USE IN BETTING, GAMES OR SINGLE CLUB/LEAGUE/PLAYER PUBLICATIONS. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS

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