Louis Van Gaal Needs To Look At Himself, Not The Manchester United Players!

Posted: February 8, 2016 in Chelsea, Football, Louis van Gaal, Manchester United, Opinion, Premier League
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Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal

(Louis adopts the pose which would immediately endear him to the majority of  Manchester United fans!)

He’s a card is old Louis! You have to admire him really. After all, once his fleeting visit to these shores is over, who will fill the void left by his departure? Is there any other self-confessed genius who could step into the role? Well actually, yes there is, there’s Jose Mourinho but that’s another story.

Fresh from snatching a draw from the jaws of victory against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, Louis was immediately looking for scapegoats. Was it HIS team selection? Never! What about HIS tactics? No chance, perish the thought! How about players not following HIS instructions? Now, there’s a possibility. And, if the players don’t follow the manager’s instructions who’s fault is that? The players of course, according to King Louis. He is the manager, he can do no wrong, he can only do right!

Having taken off Marouane Fellaini, who had chugged his way through the game like a Belgian Thomas The Tank Engine and replacing him with Morgan Schneiderlin, the United players set about trying to defend their one goal lead. They did this by the further substitutions of Memphis Depay, on for Lingard and Ander herrera, who came on for Juan Mata.

The substitutions had a very negative effect in that United immediately started giving the ball back to Chelsea as soon as they won it.

This can be very infuriating when, as a supporter, you have watched the hours of mind-numbing, going-nowhere possession football that United have “enjoyed” in earlier games this season. The problem then was that it was usually 0-0 and would nearly always lead to the crowd shouting their favourite, “ATTACK, ATTACK, ATTACK!

This time, they were winning 1-0 and now didn’t have a clue how to hold onto the ball!

When the added time was shown as six minutes I, for one, fancied Chelsea to equalise. As we now all know, thanks to Memphis Depay, who obviously hasn’t had the virtues of running the ball to the corner flag explained to him, the ball was given to Courtois and a few seconds later with the United “centre-backs” having gone walkabout, the ball was in the back of the net.

“We didn’t reward ourselves,” said Louis after the game. Implying that everybody would have been given a nice slice of cake had they held on to win! He was right, they didn’t and, in fairness, professional football players at Premier League level shouldn’t really need a manager to tell them what they need to do to see out a game when there are only six minutes left.

The thing they probably also didn’t need was the team disrupting by the three substitutions whereby each player will have had his own instructions along with more to pass on to team mates.

It must also be quite galling when you hear your manager constantly blaming the players for any lack of victory. They must wonder how, with a tactical genius like van Gaal in charge, they ever lose!

After a win he always claims responsibility. After a loss he always shirks responsibility. Draws are sometimes different but, usually, if the players had followed HIS instructions, they would have won.

This is all getting very tiresome now and I am beginning to feel a little sympathy for the players. When all said and done, he is going to pick the team which follows his tactics and instructions to the letter wherever possible. If that team then fails to win it is HIS fault. He is the manager, the buck stops with HIM!

Sending players out for a game when those players lack confidence or are scared of making a mistake is not a good tactical move. Forever criticising and belittling the team will not produce consistently good results.

Sending them out with the belief that they will win, whoever they are playing, as Sir Alex Ferguson used to, will have a far better chance of producing a positive result than any other.

Will he ever work this one out for himself? It is doubtful and no-one can tell him because, as mere mortals, we are just not worthy.

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