It has been a thoroughly disappointing season for Louis van Gaal and Man United, but least they are not lacking in self-awareness.
Speaking to the assembled reporters at an Under Armour event, £25million forward Memphis Depay has admitted that he has not been up to scratch this season, in the midst of a frustrating first six months in the Premier League.
The 22 year old Dutch international arrived at the club with a burst of confidence – even feeling suitably ready to take the famous Man United number 7 shirt on his arrival – but has struggled for form and goals in his debut campaign at Old Trafford. leading to the ire of a bemused fanbase.
His attitude this season has come under scrutiny, and while the supporters are far more inclined to give fellow big-money young signing Anthony Martial time to prove himself, Memphis has had his commitment called into question on more than one occasion.
Depay himself admits that his first campaign at the club has not exactly gone to plan. When asked if he had lived up to expectations, he gave the following answer:
“No, not yet. I know that and I will continue to fight for it. I expect a lot from myself, that is important, and the club and I are busy trying to improve it.
I have really had to change my game because in the Eredivisie I could do what I wanted as I had time on the ball, I played on feelings. Here [in the Premier League] there is direct pressure so it’s hard.”
Despite his lack of form, his confidence has shown no sign of abating. He has backed himself to turn his form around and start performing, though could not say when exactly that would be happening:
“This has affected my game a little bit – everyone can see I’m not scoring every game like I used to but I can feel it getting better and, as I get to know the league more, I feel better and my confidence is growing again.
“I don’t want to put a date on it [rediscovering form] but it will come, confidence will help, as will my experiences and learning from my mistakes.”
Changing the subject slightly, Memphis was full of praise for Man United assistant manager Ryan Giggs and captain Wayne Rooney, whom he referred to as legends:
“Ryan Giggs is a legend. He talks a lot with me,
“He gives me advice. He experienced everything already so he can help me with those kind of things. I don’t want to go into details but he works a lot with me.
Wayne Rooney gives me a lot of things to think about. They really inspire me because that’s two legends that talk with you and give you advice.”
Memphis and Man United entertain FC Midtjylland in the Europa League on Thursday night as they look to overturn the embarrassing 2-1 defeat suffered in Denmark last week. Memphis scored in that match – he will undoubtedly be hoping to do so again at Old Trafford.