Louis Van Gaal & Manchester United Have A Slice Of Good Luck For A Change

Posted: February 22, 2016 in Football, Manchester United, Opinion, The FA Cup
Tags: , , , , , , ,


So yet again Louis van Gaal has one game to save his job. I’m starting to doubt this ultimatum business as this is now about the fourth or fifth time he has had one game to save his job and he certainly hasn’t won many of them.

Against Shrewsbury they played reasonably well although Memphis Depay showed, yet again, how moving to Manchester United can be a nightmare just as easily as it can be a dream.

He had two shots which were both closer to going out of the ground than they were to threatening the Shrewsbury goal.

When United took the lead it was very fortuitous. Smalling had gone up for a corner, without anybody really knowing why. His last header from a corner had gone miles over the bar! As is usually the case with Smalling, once the corner had been wasted he forgot to run back to his defensive position. In fact, had Shrewsbury been a little more awake they could have mounted a decent counter-attack. They didn’t, in fact not only didn’t they mount the counter-attack, they forgot all about Smalling, who had turned invisible. Anyway, the ball arrived at Smalling’s feet and, with a trademark swing, he whacked it straight into the ground in an attempt to put it over the bar and the bounce took it over the keeper and into the net, much to the amazement of Smalling and everybody else in the ground.

United doubled their lead just before half-time when they worked out how to score a free-kick with three players in an offside position. Again, these players obviously became invisible, but only to the referee. They wouldn’t have been invisible to the Shrewsbury goalkeeper as they stood in front of him to block his view. They were all still a yard offside when the ball was floated into the net by Juan Mata, who probably would have scored without their help.

So with nearly all of the possession United went in at half-time having scored two very fortunate goals. This is where the performances aren’t good enough. Had the first shot gone over the bar and the second been, rightly, disallowed for offside, then 0-0 would have been the score and the critics would be gathering for the second half.

In the second half, Shrewsbury huffed and puffed a little more then they had done in the first, due to the fact that they were two goals down. It didn’t get them anywhere and, after an hour, Jesse Lingard made it 0-3, from a good pass by Ander Herrera. No luck involved this time!

United ended the game playing with ten men when Will Keane, a second half substitute, became number fifteen on van Gaal’s injury list. It was a pity as he had just come close to scoring when he injured himself.

I guess that van Gaal could be said to be unlucky with injuries but there has to be more to it than that. Whether it is players playing in unnatural positions, or double training sessions, something is causing all these injuries, it isn’t just bad luck.

Towards the end of the match the commentator had remarked that this was a game that van Gaal neded to win. Again, that could be said about any number of games during the last two months and now United fans are wondering just exactly what it is that van Gaal has to do to get the bullet. Do United have to be relegated before he goes?

It is fairly obvious that United are struggling under his management. Had they not scored a lucky first goal, which forced Shrewsbury to come out in search of an equaliser, it is doubtful they would have scored three. However, a win is a win and they can now look forward to a home tie against West Ham United in the quarter-final, which is probably when their FA Cup run will end.


  1. Tony Fell says:

    A little harsh with the comment about the second goal, only three players were offside, the majority of the team were ONSIDE!


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