Louis van Gaal must have been regretting his decision to rest Marcus Rashford when Anthony Martial suffered an injury in the warm-up ahead of their clash with Norwich at the weekend.
It left United short of attacking options but they scraped a 1-0 win thanks to Juan Mata’s goal.
After the match, the Dutchman explained the decision to leave out his 18-year-old forward.
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"You see in the games, Marcus is not doing the things he did in his first match or second match anymore," Van Gaal told United's official website.
"You want to deny that at first and you say it to him but then you see maybe it is tiredness.”
But Rashford wasn’t the only United player rested on Saturday. Danny Blind was also left out by Van Gaal ahead of their trip to West Ham.
But ahead of the clash at the Boleyn Ground, Van Gaal has revealed that it’s not always him that makes these decisions. The manager claimed that, before every match, he confides in his ‘fatigue specialist’ when selecting his squad.
“It is always dependable on the data from my fatigue specialist,” he told reporters, per the club’s official website.
“We are going home and Sunday [was] recovery and the day after is recovery. I have to decide then on the data of my fatigue specialist who I am taking with me. It’s always like that. It can happen that I leave players at home because they are too tired.”
So, there you have it. A fatigue specialist “always” helps Van Gaal pick his side.
Whoever has been selected the team recently has been doing a very good job. A few months ago, United’s campaign looked over but with three matches remaining, the club are fighting on two fronts.
A win against West Ham in tonight’s fixture would put them one point ahead of Manchester City in fourth with just one match remaining.
Van Gaal has also led them to the FA Cup final where they face Crystal Palace on May 21.
An FA Cup win and qualification for next season’s Champions League would surely see Van Gaal remain at Old Trafford for next season despite plenty of speculation surrounding his future in recent months. Jose Mourinho has been heavily linked with the job since he was sacked from Chelsea in December but Van Gaal looks set to enter into his third and final year of his contract.