Right direction under Van Gaal? Manchester United Fans are right to be worried
Should Manchester United Fans Be Worried? Bants from a Concerned Manchester United Fan
Written By King Chuks (@Chuksypablo)
I’ve watched with great empathy the recent display of my beloved Manchester United and I began to wonder if it is indeed possible to display such reckless performances and if it is indeed the same Manchester United once managed by Sir Alex Ferguson? Harry Redknapp once came out to say Man United fans were spoilt for success under SAF hence the impatience with LVG but I don’t think that’s the case. LVG himself has done his bit, returning MUFC to the Champions league after Moye’s disastrous season at the helm of affairs. Hence, progress should be made in anticipation of the 2015/16 season especially with the vast amount spent on new recruits.The season is almost reaching half way and Man United fans want LVG out, and yes, a lot is going wrong currently, some of which are highlighted below.
– NO AMBITIOUS PLAY
LVG’s style of play is basically, keep the ball so you stop your opponent from having the ball so you score. The difference with this style of play from LVG is that the ball movement is too slow. There are too many back passes, short passes, cautioned passes, and it ends up slowing the game down to the advantage of the opponent. It leaves the players having to regroup hereby making it hard for the team to penetrate through a congested box and get the ball into the net. We know Barcelona passes a lot like this but it’s fast and crisp and it works in a spanish league where they basically play with a high line of defence and the forward players are easily able to run into spaces behind the defence. In the Premier league, the line of defence is usually deep, the faster you move the ball going forward, the easier it is for the forward players to run into less congested channels and score. How LVG hasn’t noticed this, I can’t understand.
– NO UNDERSTANDING / LINK-UP PLAY
The only link up play I see is too many 4 to 5 cm passes among players. It’s just crazy watching the team pass, pass, pass without penetration. It’s has become extremely boring to say the least. Gone are the days when Valencia comes up with a crisp crossing and knows someone is heading in even with his eyes closed. Gone are the days Scholes would turn 180 degrees and send a long diagonal pass that leads a build up to a goal. What do we see these days? Lingard trying to aimlessly run into channels, Martial trying to work his way into congested channels and midfielders comfortably sitting in midfield without going forward to create chances. Whatever happened to Becham-Gigg’s wings twitch, Andy Cole-Dwight Yorke link-up, Rooney-Nistelrooy, Rooney-Ronaldo-Tevez understanding? Despite spending over £200m on players, there is nothing to show for it!
– PLAYERS NOT EXPRESSING THEMSELVES
My biggest headache here is how the young core of Depay-Lingard-Martial are not able to benefit from the experienced core of Schweinsteinger-Mata-Rooney. How have they become so ordinary that they can’t create chances for these young stars to thrive on? How is Depay, who scored over 20 goals last season in Netherland finding it hard to find his range? How has LVG spent over £250m and Lingard is our first choice winger? How has Schweinstenger been so inconsistent? How has Darmian, Italian best right back; been inconsistent, even loosing his place to Valencia earlier in the season? To round it all up, none of his signings except Martial has really worked well for him. How is this possible? The midfield pairing of Schneidelin-Schweinsteinger on paper looks like the best in the league but on current displays, it is just too static. Like Ferdinand said, “opponents would fancy themselves against those two.” Why can’t we get goals from midfield? Are we even getting assists from midfield? How is Fellaini not able to impose himself more in games? How baffling is it that over £200m has been spent and Blind is a first choice center back? Question for the gods!
– WHAT TRAINING METHODS?
LVG was questioned about his training methods recently and he said “the training methods remains the same, you don’t change training methods because of particular opponents because every team is dangerous. One bad result cannot alter the way we train.” I ask myself, what methods? The only method I see is 10 to 15 cm passing and probably on defence. Seeing that we are hardly conceding these days, questions need to be asked! Why is the shooting so horrible? Why can’t we score from outside the box? According to Squawka, we were the last team to do so this season. Why can’t we create chances? Don’t you work on that? Don’t you work on link-up play? How are we constantly conceding from set pieces? How has Depay become so horrible at dribbling? How is Mata finding it hard to create chances? How is Rooney not scoring? How has Schweinsteinger-Schneiderlin not gelled? What spectacular thing are you working on in training that all these factors are not working?
– LVG’s BODY LANGUAGE IS HORRIBLE
Right from the blast of the whistle, LVG is writing. A player misses a pass, he’s writing, the opponent scores, he’s writing, his team scores, he’s writing, his team is getting pummeled, he’s writing. Sir LVG what are you writing? Sir Alex was once asked why he doesn’t write like his colleague, his response? “I can’t afford to miss 1 second of the action.” There are times when the team needs to be encouraged, shouted at from the bench, not often but at least do a Jurgen Klopp for some 5 seconds. Let the fans see the passion, the will to turn it around, but instead, what we get is an I don’t care kinda look even when the fans looks agitated. Now, even Giggs has modelled that. Under Sir Alex, you could feel the emotion when the team scores, at times he’ll stand in the touch-line red-faced, shout at his players, even shout at the officials when things are not going his way.You could feel his will to win. LVG doesn’t seem to care once he’s on the pitch. Pathetic!
– OVER £250m SPENT,WE DESERVE BETTER
Since the arrival of LVG, Man United has signed Blind, Shaw, Depay, Martial, Schweinsteinger, Schneiderlin, Romero, Rojo, Herrera, Darmian and also sold off the unwanted lot. Over £250m spent and not one quality centre back and centre forward. Man United is used to operating with 3 to 4 strikers because of the demands of all the competition during the season but it took a deadline day transfer to land a 19-year-old who has looked the part since coming in, even when everyone condemned the robust amount paid for the virtually unknown player at the time. It has indeed been a great deal for the club as the club relied on him going forward this season especially with Rooney injured and Wilson not coming to the party when needed. The defence has done a great job when marshalled by Smalling this season but was exposed against Wolfsburg and Bournemoth. The midfielders are not doing enough. The forward line is suffering because of the style of play, having to face a congested box of players. Why can’t there be a change in pattern of play? Must it always be pass-pass-pass-pass without urgent penetration with the ball? Why not play to the strength of these players? Why do we have massive inconsistency among the player’s game? Is this what over £200m offers? Pathetic!
– WHAT NEXT?
How we are still in the top 4 at this time in the league baffles me. Knocked out of the Capital One Cup and Champions league, winning the EPL seems impossible. It’ll even be a hard task to qualify for the Champions league next season if things continue the way it is at the moment. I go on social media everyday to read tweets from Manchester United fans and one thing is crystal clear, fans have lost confidence in LVG’s method. For our best player to be our goalkeeper for 2 to 3 years running says a lot. There’s just been very few bright sparks so far in DDG, Smalling and Martial, but for how long can we continue to rely on them. Everyone has to step up, yes, but it’s basically a case of LVG adjusting his methods. As far as I’m concerned, it’s just not working .It’s very easy to play against this Man United team. Key players Rooney, Schweinsteinger and Mata are not functioning. The players are not playing as a team. The substitution during games sometimes make me question whether we see the game better on TV than those on the pitch. Scholes has shouted and complained, Ferdinand has complained, yet it all seems to be falling on deaf ears. LVG needs to do something about this appalling so-called ‘style of play’ or just step down by 2016 before the situation gets worse than it currently is.