Louis Van Gaal & Manchester United Just Don’t Fit Together

Posted: January 17, 2016 in Football, Liverpool, Louis van Gaal, Manchester United, Opinion, Premier League
Tags: , , , , , , ,

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A win is a win, but don’t be fooled into thinking that this was a good performance from United. They were second best for 75% of this match and only Liverpool’s inability to finish kept the scoreline at 0-0 for so long.

Yet again van Gaal infuriated with his selection. Ashley Young, a winger, playing at wing back. Matteo Darmian, a right back, playing at left back and Daley Blind , a defensive midfielder, playing at centre back. Marouane Fellaini was selected, inexplicably , ahead of Juan Mata and he actually managed to last the ninety minutes.

If anybody wonders why this type of selection always annoys me then imagine Manchester City doing it. Jesus Navas playing at wing back, Fernandinho at centre back and Pablo Zabaleta as left back. Pellegrini would never play these players out of their natural positions which goes a long way to explaining why City are challenging for the title and United aren’t even in the top four!

United were totally disjointed and looked completely out of sorts for the vast majority of the game.

Daley Blind seemed to have his own game plan whereby he kept firing long high balls towards Wayne Rooney. As was to be expected every single one of these was easily won by either Sakho or Toure.

Fellaini stayed quite deep for most of the game and gave away his usual amount of free-kicks. On the plus side, he should have been sent off for a stamp which the referee missed, but he did manage to collect his customary booking.

The tell-tale statistic of the game was that David De Gea was named as man-of-the-match, which explained a couple of things. Firstly, no other United player had a particularly good game and, secondly, had it not been for De Gea Liverpool would probably have won.

United’s smash-and-grab was achieved when Mata floated over a cross which Fellaini headed onto the crossbar, the rebound fell awkwardly for Rooney who blasted a controlled shot into the roof of the net, catching Mignolet’s arm slightly on the way

Having taken the lead you would think that it should be plain sailing for United. All they should really have to do is what they have been doing in most games this season. The fans will accept being bored for the last ten minutes of a game if it means that United hold out for a win. So, cue United keeping the ball, passing sideways and backwards and generally keeping possession so Liverpool couldn’t equalise.

The only problem is that that is not what happened. Evidently United are only adept at keeping the ball and boring their fans when they are not winning. Now, when they needed to do it, they handed possession back to Liverpool within seconds of winning it back time after time.

They did manage to hold on thanks to De Gea and a large slice of luck.

A quick mention for the substitutes. Borthwick-Jackson came on to replace Ashley Young and United immediately looked slightly better as Darmian went to his favoured side on the right. Ashley Young cannot defend.

Juan Mata came on to replace Jesse Lingard who was woeful all game. Mata also slightly improved United. Finally, Memphis Depay replaced Ander Herrera in a ridiculous substitution which only van Gaal’s logic would be able to explain! Leading 1-0 and needing to close out the game, a defensive midfielder who was breaking up the play was taken off and an attacking winger was brought on!

With a bit of luck this will be van Gaal’s final season at United. He just doesn’t get it. As manager of Manchester United the job is to win and win in style. Beating Liverpool is always a great feeling, particularly when it is done in such a way that the fans will talk about the game for weeks. This game will be forgotten in days. It was not pleasant to watch and the sooner he goes, the better.

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Comments
  1. DON JONES says:

    I cannot disagree with anything you have said. I would add that MUs movement of the ball was poor and predictable. Hence only one shot on goal

    Like

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