Young came on up-front.

Louis van Gaal explains why Ashley Young played up-front against Tottenham

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Manchester United fans would have been satisfied after the opening 45 minute at White Hart Lane.

The match was fairly even and the away side were holding their own against a side involved in a title battle.

But Louis van Gaal felt that his side needed a change.


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Marcus Rashford, who had scored the winner in the Manchester derby last month as well as a brace against Arsenal, was hauled off at half-time.

He was replaced by Ashley Young - who only made his comeback from injury for the Under-21s against Chelsea last Monday. It was expected that Anthony Martial would be employed down the middle with Young on the wing.

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But, in a bizarre tactic, Van Gaal put Young at centre forward keeping Martial out wide.

The plan didn’t work as Spurs scored three goals in six second-half minutes to keep their title hopes alive and dent Manchester United’s top four ambitions.

Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United - Premier League

United fans were furious and they believed their manager’s decision cost their side the match but Van Gaal has explained why he did it.

Van Gaal's explanation

"I wanted more running in behind because in the first half we didn't have an attacking point," that's the reason," he told Sky Sports, per Manchester Evening News.

The explanation isn't likely to satisfy supporters with them asking the question 'Why couldn't Martial do the running in behind?'

Disappointing campaign

The defeat leaves the Red Devils four points behind Manchester City in fourth with just six matches remaining.

Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United - Premier League

With their season hanging in the balance, Van Gaal’s side will be looking at Wednesday’s FA Cup quarter-final replay at West Ham as a chance to salvage something from a disappointing campaign.

Van Gaal's decision making

It’s not the first time that Red Devils have been furious with the baffling decision making from Van Gaal.

Last month, with his side needing three goals to progress in the Europa League against Liverpool, Van Gaal didn’t feel the need to make an attacking change. Instead, he swapped his full-backs with Antonio Valencia and Matteo Darmian coming on for Guillermo Varela and Marcos Rojo.

But it’s not just on the pitch that Van Gaal has made some big mistakes.

Selling Javier Hernandez last summer will be questioned after the Mexican has scored 16 goals in the Bundesliga this season.


Also, getting rid of Danny Welbeck was a decision that didn’t go down too well. He graduated through the United academy before the Dutchman sold him to Arsenal for £16 million in 2014. The 25-year-old has played a role in Arsenal’s seemingly failed title challenge and would, no doubt, be an important player for Manchester United.

Van Gaal’s time appears to be running out, especially if he continues to make baffling decisions like he did on Sunday. It’s believed that he will be leaving the club at the end of the season and the large majority of United fans will be glad to see the back of him.

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Wayne Rooney
Manchester United
Ashley Young
Louis van Gaal
Premier League

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