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Van Gaal: Nerves got to us

Louis van Gaal felt Manchester United did not play as a team in the 2-1 defeat by Swansea City as he continues to think about making new signings.

Last Updated: 17/08/14 at 08:39 Post Comment

Louis van Gaal: Manchester United manager lost his first game in charge

Louis van Gaal: Manchester United manager lost his first game in charge

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United had enjoyed an unbeaten pre-season campaign, but came unstuck in Van Gaal’s first competitive game as Gylfi Sigurdsson’s 72nd minute goal earned Swansea a first league win at Old Trafford.

Van Gaal pointed to nerves among his players for the below-par performance, which saw new captain Wayne Rooney score an acrobatic equaliser early in the second half after Ki Sung-Yueng had put Swansea head on 28 minutes.

"When you have so much preparation time and work so hard, it can't get worse than this,” said Van Gaal. 

“We had great confidence and it got smashed down. But it's one game of many. You are not champions after one game. 

“The question is if we can play as a team, if we can reach the right level. We couldn't do that today. 

“Because of our wins in the US, expectation is so high. But I saw a lot of nervous players out there today, making wrong decisions. You have to cope with that pressure.”

United have been the quietest Premier League club in the transfer market this summer and Van Gaal is aware of the areas he needs to strengthen before the window closes in just over two weeks’ time.

He added: “I have thought about new players, I have done since the US tour. I know the positions we need. But you can only buy the players when you know what they are expected to do.”

Van Gaal started the match with the 3-5-2 formation he had deployed in pre-season before switching to a flat back four at the break.

“We can work with both systems,” said the Dutchman. “I changed it at half-time to the system they have always played at Manchester United, then I changed it back again later. 

“They showed unbelievable commitment and worked hard, but just didn't reach the level.”

Robin van Persie missed the game as he continues to build his fitness after reaching the World Cup semi-finals with the Netherlands, and Van Gaal said: “Players have to be fit. That's all there is to it. 

“I couldn't use Fellaini or Januzaj at the start because they came back late from the World Cup, RVP came back a week later than them. He is training with us now, and he is getting closer to being available for selection.”

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Readers' Comments

W

e have the personnel. The trick is keeping them fit. Carrick and Blind have missed large chunks of the season, while the defence has been one muddled mess of intermittent stooges, all coming and going at various intervals thus far. We may be just short of title winning quality, but we're half way through. An injury crisis to either of the top two could change things. Optimistic, yes, but not unrealistic.

HarryBoulton
One Point And One Conclusion For United

P

arish is the man to blame for this shambles. Pulis must be chuckling into his left over turkey sandwich. I pray this doesn't mean the Neil Warnock media machine will kick in now and he'll be back on the telly box.

magicfuller
Warnock sacked by Palace

W

e almost found a new way to lose, just when I thought it was getting boring Giroud does that. Although Arsenal are deservedly called 'soft' the entire midfield is out injured. Still must admit MU are managing to win despite a similar raft of absentees. Think the Gunners have good players but poorly coached.

gettalong
Wenger: Giroud deserved red

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