It had been a great week for Louis van Gaal. Heading into the weekend’s fixtures Manchester United had cut into Arsenal’s lead over them by 6 points. United fans were dreaming of a top four finish once again. The Gunners draw in the North London derby on Saturday meant that a United win over West Brom on Sunday would have moved the Red Devils to within two points of third place.
With Fergie, Mourinho or Guardiola at the helm, United would have left The Hawthorns with all three points. Instead van Gaal left with none, as 10-man United lost 1-0 to West Brom.
Losing Juan Mata to two yellow cards impacted the game, but this was one of those inept van Gaal performances were United managed only one shot of goal all game,
Van Gaal’s career as Manchester United could be summed up in his reaction to go behind to a Salomon Rondon goal in the 67th minute. It took the United manager 8 minutes to make a change, sending Memphis Depay on for Marcus Rashford. Eight crucial minutes in which a top manager would have done something to change the outcome of the match. But not LVG. He say staring at his notebook, hoping that a tactical solution would suddenly appear on the page.
Discussing United’s situation after the latest defeat Van Gaal said:
“It’s a big blow. These kind of matches you have to win.”
“We have played 60 minutes with ten men against 11 men. This is our fifth match in 14 days, I believe. It’s very difficult for them to play against 11 players. That’s the reason we lost.”
You know who else has played five matches in 13 days Louis? Barcelona. And I don’t hear Luis Enrique blaming the fixture list for his teams winning streak.