Football

Louis van Gaal does not understand English football

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Another weekend - another embarassing peformance by Manchester United. A line which has become, over the past two years, far too common.

After last weeks 'fantastic' performance against a limp-legged QPR side, Manchester United fans looked on at our attacking prowess with a gleaming smile.

However, they were rarely tested at the back and, if anybody thought it was the new dawn for United, Sunday proved them entirely wrong.

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Of course against Leicester City, United were absolutely robbed. Richie De Laet could have tallied himself three red-cards' worth of yellow cards. Rafael was fouled before a penalty was awarded against him for what wasn't a foul. Tyler Blackett was fouled before he fouled Jamie Vardy.

Simply put, Mark Clattenberg - who is hailed as England's best referee, had an awful game. And as hard as it is for bitter fans to accept (who seem obsessed with United getting every decision ever), it is another case of decisions going against them, a pattern all to familiar for the past three or four seasons.

It wasn't all Clattenberg's fault though. Louis van Gaal made, to character as highlighted in my previous articles, more shocking tactical decisions.

Wrong decision

Luke Shaw was left on the bench when Marcos Rojo, a natural centre-back, played at left-back and Blackett and Jonny Evans started. Both are average players at best who don't belong in the biggest club in England, although Blackett has a glimmer of hope as a future reserve.

When Evans got injured, Van Gaal really displayed how he does not understand neither the English game nor the United squad. Chris Smalling should be playing in the Championship. Together Blackett and Smalling are potentially the least technically able pairing in the Premier League and in a possession based tactic that simply can not work.

Shaw should have come on - it isn't as if he is not fit having played in a reserve match earlier in the week. But as a United fan, these ridiculous decisions are to be expected - we are the the team who bought Juan Mata as a panic buy last season and paid for Radamel Falcao on a loan this season, a player who we absolutely don't need, a little Mexican we loaned out proving his worth scoring a brace in his first Real Madrid game.

If a player is good enough for Madrid why get rid of him and buy a striker who is arguably not fit for four times the wages?

Coaching staff

The worst decision United made was getting rid of Rene Meulensteen and Mike Phelan when Sir Alex Ferguson left. Phelan was United's longstanding defensive coach and one of the best in the league - since he left they have not looked the same.

Rene, a man who is credited with making Ronaldo the player he is after years of one-on-one coaching, is arguably the best technical coach in the world and would have been of great assistance to both the David Moyes and Van Gaal regimes.

Both are solid, experienced coaches who could have aided the Dutchman in his adjustment to the Premier League - which he evidently isn't finding easy.

This was further highlighted when he celebrated at 3-1 up against Leicester like it was the win. United had not looked convincing defensively and the Premier League has shown time and time again that 'it isn't over til' the fat lady sings'.

Not over yet...

Van Gaal's celebrations showed an air of naivety which would have never been present in the Ferguson regime. Even if you look across the country to, say, Chelsea - Jose Mourinho shuts up shop by bringing on players like John Obi Mikel or Ramires when he has a cushion as he is a coach that understands the league.

Van Gaal must start to learn the ways of the league quick if he is to maintain his promise of a third place finish and Champions League quailification as if he doesn't, United, at this rate will be somewhere around the 15th place going into the Winter period, where United's streamlined defense will be really tested with the congested fixture list and it could end up being a Moyes season all over again. Here's to hoping - come on United.

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Topics:
Football
Leicester City
Louis van Gaal
Manchester United
Premier League

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