Louis van Gaal could be damaging Manchester United

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Football News

Excitement surrounded Old Trafford when the charismatic Dutchman was announced manager of Manchester United last summer.

He was tasked with turning the Manchester club into a powerhouse once again and is currently doing so correspondingly.

His summer arrival sparked a flurry of transfer activity. Big name signings like Radamel Falcao helped to restore the reputation of the much maligned Ed Woodward.


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The biggest of these summer arrivals was the Argentinian ace Angel di Maria.

A huge statement of intent from United, who even without the allure of European football, managed to attract of the the worlds top talents.

Poor management

Di Maria proved to be one of the best in the world whilst playing on the left side a midfield three with a licence to roam. He was allowed to fulfil this role in his early United days but Van Gaal soon changed his position.

He forced the former Real man out wide, glued to the touchline and even utilised him as a striker. This completely neutralised the Argentines attacking threat. Van Gaal's fondness for a ridged, organised attacking unit robbed Di Maria of his free attacking role.

No longer could he pick up the ball from deep and terrorise defenders with mazy, pacy runs. He was soon edged out of the team by Ashley Young who was more suited to being a natural winger.

Strange signing

The question is, why did Van Gaal sanction the transfer for a player who was not suited to his system? Any hope for Di Maria to eventually fit into the Dutchman's system was ended when he was sold off to PSG this summer.

The man who was signed to help Man United return to domestic and European glory, turned out to be just an attempt by Ed Woodward to prove that he wasn't a laughing stock in the transfer market. It proved a very expensive mistake

Misuse of players

The Red Devils have one of the best number 10s in the game along with one of the most exciting young wingers, Juan Mata and Memphis Depay.

Strangely, Van Gaal chose to play Mata on the wing and Memphis in the number 10 role. It would already be difficult enough for Memphis to adjust to the new country and club, but now he's been tasked with playing in a completely new position.

Surely it would make sense to play Memphis on the flanks, allowing him to run at defenders rather than receiving the ball with his back to goal. It was also free up Mata to play in his favoured No.10 role, allowing him to unlock defences with his vision and creativity.

Midfield still a problem

Another issue for the Manchester club is their midfield. Despite strengthening in the summer, they struggled to turn defence into attack against Tottenham.

Playing both Schneiderlin and Carrick provides a brilliant defensive screen, but lacks the pace to break away and link up with the attack.

This is why Ander Herrera must start as part of the midfield trio. The combative Spaniard has a natural understanding with the likes of Mata and posses the ability to turn defence into attack. I'm sure the majority of fans would love to see Herrera back in the starting line up.

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Louis van Gaal
Angel di Maria
Ander Herrera
Manchester United

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