Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has insisted that he was right to replace Radamel Falcao with Marouane Fellaini last weekend, because the Colombian striker was only able to produce one meaningful moment in his 68 minutes on the pitch.
Falcao produced a neat turn that won the penalty for Wayne Rooney to break the deadlock in a 2-0 win for the Red Devils, but was replaced just two minutes after that touch of class.
The Old Trafford gave Falcao a standing ovation and were less than impressed to see Fellaini take his place, but Van Gaal clearly wasn't satisfied with a performance that saw United's £265,000-a-week striker have just one shot that flew well off-target.
Van Gaal remains ruthless
Van Gaal was asked about Falcao and his contribution by The Sun after a victory which United needed to maintain their top-four push, but didn't exactly sound overwhelmed with what the forward had managed to produce.
He said: “It was a fantastic action and I told him so. But football is not one action. Football is more and I have to take care of the team.”
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Falcao is not entirely to blame
One look at the statistics show Van Gaal has a point when it comes to Falcao, but he wasn't exactly flush with service against Sunderland and its been a similar story more often that not this season.
United only managed to complete five successful crosses in the entire match against Sunderland, which out of 38 attempts is a pretty pathetic return.
Falcao is a striker who thrives on clever play in the final third, which means while he isn't going to stretch teams with pace he can still be hugely effective in the penalty area.
Van Gaal's very deliberate style with a strong emphasis on controlling possession definitely doesn't Falcao's game, which when coupled with the fact he's far from top form makes things very difficult for United and one of their top earners.
Hopefully the chance to build a new partnership with Wayne Rooney can help lift the gloom surrounding a player that's fast becoming a flop, because otherwise United simply can't justify a permanent transfer this summer.
United fans, do you think Falcao is to blame for his poor form or is there more to it? Has Van Gaal done enough to get the best out of a world-class player at his best? Let us know by having your say in the comment box below!
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