Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal could scarcely hide his frustration with yesterday's goalless draw at White Hart Lane yesterday, criticising everything from the Premier League's hectic festive fixture schedule to his own strikers.
Van Gaal was on the warpath after United missed what turned out to be a golden opportunity to close the gap on title rivals Manchester City and Chelsea, forced to settle for a point against Tottenham Hotspur despite creating a whole host of clear-cut opportunities.
Radamel Falcao and Robin van Persie were most guilty of not delivering in the final third, with Van Gaal making it clear the star duo fell well below the required standard of a side harbouring genuine championship aspirations.
Van Gaal demands more from star strike duo
In his post-match interview in North London a visibly annoyed Van Gaal told the Daily Mail: "When you play your best first half of the season, as we did, and you are playing at White Hart Lane against a top-six club and you play like that and create six to eight open chances, then you have to finish them.’
"I said in the dressing room that when you cannot win such type of matches when you are the better team, like against Villa and also now, then it is very difficult to be the champions at the end of the season."
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Plenty of positives despite dropped points
Van Gaal will likely be most disappointed with Van Persie, who spurned two glaring opportunities to give United a lead they would have fully merited towards the end of the first half.
Falcao also wanted too much time in the penalty area one more than one occasion, failing to convince that he can deliver from the start for United in big matches.
On the plus side captain Wayne Rooney continues to look in fine fettle occupying a deeper midfield role, helping United extend their unbeaten run to nine matches.
Familiar workload complaints
Unsurprisingly Van Gaal was also keen to take a swipe at his first experience of the hectic run of games which ends each calendar year in England, which this year presents United with the challenge of playing three times in six days.
Van Gaal believes forcing his star-studded squad to play twice in under 48 hours against Newcastle United and Spurs was utterly ridiculous, although it must be said Sunday's opponents have been forced to manage a far busier workload all season long.
Here's what Van Gaal had to say about United's Christmas calendar: "It is scientifically proven that the body cannot recover in 48 hours. You see what it is like — the second half is much different to the first."
United fans will hope Van Gaal's not trotting out excuses of fatigue following Thursday's showdown with Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium, a match which will see the pressure on Van Persie and Falcao intensify if they fire blanks once again.