Manchester United’s Football Is Puftile

Posted: November 28, 2015 in Football, Louis van Gaal, Managers, Manchester United, Opinion
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Louis van Gaal is known as the “Iron Tulip” by some people. Quite what he is known as by others is probably unprintable.

For all the scholars of chemistry out there, as you will know, the chemical symbol for iron is FE. So, if we take the letters from tulip, add fe and scramble them around a little, we come up with the word puftile. At least, it should be a word but it probably isn’t. It is probably meaningless. If it is meaningless then I claim invention of the word and deem it to mean any kind of football which is, well……er……meaningless.

Using that brilliant example of logic as a starting point, a word which has no meaning is like Manchester United’s football, puftile. (Notice how this word bears an uncanny resemblance to futile).

Under van Gaal United have developed a possession game which usually terminates when they lose possession. This they do regularly because there are only so many times you can go sideways or backwards before the pitch ends. At this point the ball will either go out of play, or be rashly passed to an opponent. On the rare occasions that United go forward it is usually to find there is only one player in the opposition penalty area competing with four or five defenders.

United fans have taken to pleading very loudly for the team to, Attack! Attack! Attack!
This is not because they expect the team or van Gaal to listen to them, but it is a handy way of staying awake. Unless you’ve had a few scoops of the amber nectar, you try going to sleep while shouting at the top of your voice, it is difficult.

When questioned about his tactics at press conferences, or in the dressing room or even by his wife at the dinner table, van Gaal will usually point out how successful the defence is. This is true and he deserves praise for it. United have the best defensive record in the Premier League so it is no mean feat. What he needs to remember, however, is that if his defence hadn’t been so good he would have been fired by now.

In a similar way to how David De Gea got United into fourth place on his own last season, then this season, the defence can be thanked for keeping United where they are. The fact is, had it not been for them, United would be closer to the bottom end of the league rather than the top. They have edged a few games which would have been lost without some sterling defending.

If United can buy a proven goalscorer in January, to play alongside Martial and to occasionally interchange with him in games where only one striker is required then they will have a chance of winning the Premier League. This season is one of the most open ever. It is an average Premier League, which explains why England is in danger of losing a European place.

Other than this goalscorer who may or may not arrive in January, Manchester United do not seem to be in need of much else. As has already been said, the defence is sound, they have 87 midfielders in their squad. They just do not score enough goals. It would also help if van Gaal actually picked his creative midfielders occasionally. Then, if he hasn’t picked Martial on the wing, there may be some goals. Who knows?

The Iron Tulip has to do something though. The natives are starting to get restless and the volunteers for Louis van Gaal’s army have dried up. He does not want to be facing battles in the Premier League and in the Champion’s League without the backing of his troops. To do so would be very puftile.

  1. […] Manchester United’s Football Is Puftile […]


  2. Murray says:

    If the problem with the lack of goals is the style they are playing then will spending lots of money on another striker actually help?


    • No it wouldn’t Murray, you’re right. This is why I say he has to play the creative midfielders. Mata and Herrera will create chances, they then only need one holding midfielder whether that be Schweinsteiger or Schneiderlin. On the odd occasion they need two holding midfielders then they could play both of the aforementioned. Thanks for the comment.

      Liked by 1 person

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