Sunday 13 December 2015

Louis van Gaal has to prove himself all over again but we should stick with him.... for now

Louis van Gaal did a lot of good work for United last season: he stabilised the club after a difficult year and took us back into the Champions League while overseeing a huge overhaul of the squad. 

But, at the moment, he is in the process of rendering it all irrelevant and it's getting to the point where Van Gaal has to prove himself all over again.

United aren't in any rush to sack him and in fact the noises from Old Trafford suggest there's no appetite for it at all.
But it might be different in the summer: Carlo Ancelotti will be available and there's a chance Pep Guardiola may also be looking for a job.

Van Gaal should be given the chance to try and turn this current blip around but, should he not, the calls for him to be replaced in the summer - a year before his contract is due to expire - will only intensify.

Yes, we are heavily depleted by injury and again at Bournemouth were forced to field a young and largely experimental side.
But this reasoning is wearing thin and a lot of other teams are faced with the same problem: our opponents yesterday have lost four of their key players to long-term injury and yet still beat us.

Our current lengthy injury list should not cloud the fact that mistakes have been made.

It seemed obvious to me and most other United fans that we needed a centre-back and a striker in the summer but instead we went into the season with just three forwards and Daley Blind as a makeshift stop-gap. At the moment, it's back firing horribly.

You can count on one hand the amount of times that LVG has been in the technical area since he took over.
He should have been out there in the second half at Bournemouth.

His young side were rocking after the second goal and may have benefited from their vastly experienced manager putting down that clipboard and offering encouragement, guidance and advice from the touchline. 

Sometimes it can really help (look at Eddie Howe as a prime example).

Blind was meant to be the experienced and composed presence at the heart of United's injury-hit defence yesterday.
He had a lot of responsibility trying to marshal a young back four that had an average age of 21 and should have led by example but instead he was culpable for the second goal and gifted Glenn Murray a golden chance, which the striker should have buried, for 3-1.

Josh King ran off him to score the winner and he was dragged horribly out of position in the build-up to Murray's chance.
This merely emphasized what many fans have thought all along: that Blind is not the answer at centre-half. 

Van Gaal has forged a reputation as an esteemed man manager and innovative tactical genius, but for a man of all his experience some of his decisions are baffling.

In the last two matches against Wolfsburg and Bournemouth replacing our two best players on the day just when we needed them the most was very strong - but putting on a 22-year-old with only a handful of appearances for the club was even stranger.

Using Phil Jones as the final change at Bournemouth at 2-1 down - ignoring the potentially game changing qualities of Ashley Young - smacked of desperation and confused muddled thinking. 

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