Manchester United players perplexed by Louis van Gaal's tactics

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Football News

Manchester United's players believe Louis van Gaal's confusing tactics significantly contributed to their disastrous performance against Arsenal on Sunday.

A report in the Times claims that senior members of the squad were surprised by Van Gaal's unwillingness to implement a counter-attacking game that has served so well against the Gunners in previous encounters.

Indeed, Manchester United walked away from the Emirates with all three points last season after twice hitting Arsene Wenger's men on the break, absorbing plenty of pressure to steal a 2-1 victory.


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The tactics were long championed by Sir Alex Ferguson and had restricted Arsenal to just one victory between the teams in 13 Premier League encounters before Sunday's 3-0 demolition.

But Van Gaal instead chose to try and press Arsenal back, leaving their defence exposed to the rapid attacking force of Theo Walcott and Alexis Sanchez.

Team selection

There was also perplexment at Van Gaal's decision to omit Morgan Schneiderlin, instead championing Michael Carrick and Bastian Schweinsteiger, both of whom have struggled with fitness issues for several years.

Schweinsteiger, in particular, struggled to deal with the box-to-box responsibilities that Van Gaal appeared to have handed him. Gaping holes in midfield allowed Mesut Ozil to wander into the box and score Arsenal's second only moments after Alexis Sanchez had put them in front.

Worrying time

This is a worrying time for Manchester United fans, who last month had to deal with reports–later confirmed by Van Gaal–that several senior members had confronted Van Gaal over his management techniques.

His draconian style appears to be grating on the team and his failure to instill confidence into his players before the top-of-the-table clash in north London leaves pundits wondering whether they have the attitude to sustain a title challenge.

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Premier League
Manchester United
Louis van Gaal

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