United Play Well & Still Can’t Score!

Posted: December 28, 2015 in Chelsea, Football, Manchester United, Opinion, Premier League
Tags: , , , ,

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PRE-MATCH

This is it! This is the “must win” game that will mean that Louis van Gaal is really quite a good manager and didn’t mean to lose all those games. Alternatively, it is the “must win” game that will spell the end for Louis, meaning that he was never really very good and should have gone directly from Holland to the Algarve, giving Manchester a very wide berth in the process.

Which will it be? As I mentioned in an earlier post, I think he is going whatever the score, win or lose. The only remaining item on the agenda is how he departs. Does he jump or does he get pushed? We will see.

The team he has picked for this game saw recalls for Schweinsteiger, Schneiderlin and Darmian giving a massive vote of no-confidence to three of the team who played against Stoke, (in fairness he could have given a massive vote of no-confidence to all of them after that game). He then proceeded to pick his top scorer out wide and the one who can’t score to save his life at centre forward. His tinpot logic also sees Ashley Young as a left winger but a right wing back, meaning that Matteo Darmian, who is a right full back, played on the left. No wonder van Gaal can’t work out what is going wrong!

From what I could see there was no reason why any of these players had to be played much out of position but, that’s van Gaal for you.

Chelsea turned up with no recognised striker as Costa is suspended and Remy is injured. According to the commentator, Radamel Falcao “wasn’t quite ready”, whatever that means.

THE GAME

In a fast start to the game, Mata had hit the bar and De Gea had produced a world class save from John Terry, all in the first five minutes.

Chelsea, without a focal point up front, seemed happy to counter attack and United were actually playing well, with good incisive attacking football. So much so that they hit the woodwork again when Martial cut inside from the left and tried a shot, which beat Courtois, but not the post.

I was beginning to think that van Gaal had told the team, before the game, that he was leaving afterwards as they have rarely played this well and it now seemed like the shackles were off. They didn’t seem to be concerned about what was going to be said at half time.

One of the downsides to the last few games has been that super-defender Mike Smalling appears to have rediscovered his alter-ego, average-defender Chris Smalling. He was less than impressive in the first half, as it petered out to remain at 0-0.

The second half saw Chelsea start with greater intent as though maybe Hiddinck had said a few words during the break.

Not much of note happened for a while. Chelsea should have scored when Matic was put through with only De Gea to beat. He beat De Gea, along with the goal and half of the crowd.

In the 70th minute both teams made a change with Ramires coming on for Willian and Borthwick-Jackson for Darmian. Neither substitution made any difference whatsoever to the game, which is testament to Borthwick-Jackson and shows he can probably handle this level.

In an attempt to correct this, van Gaal then brought Memphis Depay on in place of Juan Mata. This also made no difference so he played his mastercard. He brought on ace goalscorer Phil Jones in place of Daley Blind. In fairness, I think Blind had a slight injury, otherwise it was a Moyes-like substitution.

In the 93rd minute, not to be outdone in the double barrelled name stakes, Chelsea brought on Ruben Loftus-Cheek in place of Oscar and the game trundled to it’s inevitable conclusion, yet another 0-0 draw for United. However, it can be said that they had played reasonably well in this one.

POST MATCH CONCLUSION

Although Chelsea played all game with no striker and United were unlucky not to score at least one goal, most United teams of the past would have won this game by two or three goals.

Chelsea showed little ambition and will be happy with a point. The fact that United will also probably be happy with a point shows how far they have fallen in recent times.

We now await an announcement on the future of Louis van Gaal, who has picked up one point from his two games, one of which was a “must win” according to Fleet Street’s finest.

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Comments
  1. mike says:

    As a matter of fact, LVG is one of the best coach in the world. To me his style of playing games in other leagues could be different to other leagues besides this he made a mistake when he sold some strikers without a replacement. United game is attacking not possession

    Like

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