Phil Jones taking Manchester United’s corners was ridiculous

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It was the moment more than a few Manchester United supporters would have asked themselves the question: ‘is Louis van Gaal really the right manager for us?’

Phil Jones holding his hands up in the air, poised to take another corner kick as the likes of Wayne Rooney, Angel di Maria and Juan Mata - players with excellent delivery - floated around the penalty area.

Van Gaal has a reputation for being unorthodox at times, as we saw during the World Cup finals in Brazil - remember Jasper Cillessen and Tim Krul?

Bizarre decisions

But there appeared to be no obvious logic with this decision. Jones is a centre-back - and not a very cultured one at that.

He’s a danger from set-pieces, but not when stepping up to take them. The England international has a decent leap on him and is dangerous in the air. As versatile as he might be, there’s no way Van Gaal is convincing anybody this is a potential set-piece specialist.

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Worryingly it wasn’t the only strange decision Van Gaal made on a frustrating afternoon at Loftus Road. Manchester United may have come away from the west London ground with all three points, but only after one of the most turgid halves of football that United fans have witnessed for many a year.

This was as bad as anything produced during David Moyes’s ill-fated tenure.

3-5-2 formation

For a start there was the formation. Why did it take Manchester United fans to chant “4-4-2” in unison for the veteran Dutch coach to finally make the change?

Once he did, United - low and behold - took the lead through Marouane Fellaini. Teenage striker James Wilson would add a second late on.

Di Maria/Rooney positions

And why was Di Maria deployed as a second striker again? it didn’t work against Southampton and it sure as hell didn’t work today.

Meanwhile Wayne Rooney, the third highest goalscorer in Manchester United’s history, should be playing in a more advanced position. He is wasted in midfield.

The Red Devils have a player capable of doing a better job as a central midfielder. Van Gaal should know because he gave the green light for the Red Devils to pay £29 million to sign him last summer.

Ander Herrera

Which brings us on nicely to Van Gaal’s final bizarre decision of the afternoon: bringing Ander Herrera on in the fourth minute of stoppage time.

Was he trying to send the Spaniard a message? It all seemed a little pointless at best - and humiliating for the player at worst.

For the time being the jury is still very much out on Manchester United’s unorthodox manager.

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Premier League
Phil Jones
Wayne Rooney
Manchester United
Louis van Gaal
Queens Park Rangers

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