Louis van Gaal has pushed the blame for Manchester United's form to his strikers, stating that the Red Devils do not have a man who can score 20 goals in a season unlike his rivals.
The Red Devils have Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney and Radamel Falcao as their front three, but the Dutchman is far from impressed with their performance and does not believe that any of them is good enough to lead the United defence.
The statement will come as a major shock for fans across the world and also from neutrals, with the trio renowned for their goal scoring prowess, having scored more than 20 goals multiple times in their careers.
Van Persie's tally of 30 goals for Arsenal in his final season in north London led the Gunners to a top four finish and a similar tally for United in his next season secured the Premier League title for Sir Alex Ferguson.
Similarly, Rooney has also been a revelation for United since transferring from Everton while Falcao's tenacity and eye for goal is renowned across the globe.
United have spent more than £150m in the summer but the Dutchman has failed to deliver the goods, having previously proved his mettle with Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
"It's true because I cannot deny it. Robin van Persie cannot deny it, Falcao cannot deny it and Rooney is not playing there much anymore but we cannot deny that, at this moment, we don't have a striker who scores 20 goals in the season," Van Gaal said.
"It's not always the fault of the manager when a player is not performing well, I can tell you. I think not only Di Maria [is struggling], I think all the players.
"My belief, and the belief of the board, is when you do things with your conscience, then it shall be better but, at the end, every player has to do each task with intuition because that is the process.
"Di Maria needs to go through that process and at the end he shall be much better. I know as a manager that he's a very creative player and you can see this from the statistics.
"He needs that space and I give that space but he needs to do also things with his brain and that's a learning process, not only with Di Maria but with all the players," he concluded.