Is the tide turning against Van Gaal? A few Mailboxers have had enough. Also: stop saying the season’s over, a neutral’s plea to the big five, and pray for Degsy…
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Losing Patience With Van Gaal
Ok I’ll admit it. I’m starting to have concerns about LvG. Yes he’s been a great manager. Yes he’s built the basis of brilliant all-destroying teams and brought through and moulded great players. But I’m starting to have doubts over his tactics.
After a mostly dominating performance and some great play from a nicely balanced team, we concede a few weak goals and resort to direct football replacing the mercurial talents of Mata and Herrera with the less subtle talents of Young and Fellaini.
Result? No serious chances, no control, just hopeful punts. I’m disappointed. We don’t resort to route one football, we continue and retake control. Goals happen but you don’t lose your soul in adversity.
My first moment of discontent. I’m fairly sure I’ll not be alone.
Guy S (striker needed, defender needed, keeper needed)
…I wrote in last week questioning LVG’s tactical credentials. In light of the disaster in Wales I’d like to go back there.
Poor ball movement? Check – having the majority of possession is irrelevant if it’s all in front of the opposition and so slow
Static movement? Check – no lateral movement at all from the front 4. So easy to defend against. Midfielders not getting beyond Rooney.
Predictable subs? Check – like for like changes when chasing the game. For someone lauded for swapping keepers in a shoot out he’s shown a complete lack of inspiration and an inability to react to a changing game. And of course he brought Fellaini on and became Wimbledon 1986.
Tactics? Check – if the neat but unpenetrating passing doesn’t work chip it in for Fellaini to wrestle. On the topic of tactics, if you have one striker he needs to be either able play back to goal and play in others, or run in behind. Gomis could do both. Rooney can do neither.
For a man whose had two full pre-seasons and three transfer windows LVG has got a squad short on any flair and creativity in the front third, and also one who are still defensively brittle. He has also weakened both keeping and striking options.
Fadida (thoughts Smyth?) Australia
Give Van Gaal A Break
I never thought I’d be defending Louis Van Gaal, but the jibes and digs from the media (including you, F365) have to stop.
You have your click-bait-fodder every presser with LVG – today we had “We were too dominant to make change” and it’s headline-tastic, primarily because you’re sniggering about the English usage. Let’s see what would have been reported if it were the other way around?
“Garry Monk, on the heels of a 2-1 defeat to Manchester United, said that the five minute period, when United scored twice, was against the run of play and he still had trust in the team who was on the field at the time. “What am I going to do – substitute everyone? – No, my players knew their assignments, they have my trust and they were outplayed for a five-minute period. End of story. It was a learning experience and we’ll take it to the training ground on Monday”.
Instead we have schoolboy cupped-hand guffaws because a Dutch-speaking coach tries to explain that his team was properly set up, but was unable to close out the deal against a superbly-coached team who won (at home, by the way).
You’re better than this. Or that. Pack it in.
Steve (100 degrees here!) Los Angeles
Domination, Domination, Domination
Hope all you foolish, uneducated footie fans watched United batter Swansea around!
1-2 you say?!
TOTAL DOMINATION is what I call it.
So, take that Mr. Monk!
Manc in SA (Let’s hope we don’t ‘Dominate’ the rest of the season)
Just liked to add to Matt Stead’s input.
” Darmian’s infallibility was duly noted by opposition manager Garry Monk. The second half saw Swansea focus just 20.8% of attacks down United’s right-hand side, with Luke Shaw doing his best to keep Andre Ayew and company at bay under 54.4% worth of pressure on the opposite flank. Both of Swansea’s goals came from attacks down the left, of course. ”
For all the hype of Memphis going forward, he doesn’t help Shaw much on tracking back. Shaw was told to get forward as much as possible in the second half against Swansea. He did, and cover was needed. Ashley Young would have done a better job on the left last night. I hope Memphis is used carefully. When Ronaldo was new to the league, Ferguson used him sparingly till he was up to speed with the League. Young was our best performer tail end of last season.
Benefit of the doubt still given to the LVG if he’s using these early games to get the new signing up to speed with the rest of the squad, only time will tell.
Surya MUFC (Malaysia)
Long Way To Go
Refreshing, pleasant and unusual as it was for the journos on Sunday supplement to dig the knife into Mourinho I think the Chelsea postmortems are a bit premature. Same goes for the scribes already handing the trophy to Man City.
Maybe dragging Chelsea’s small squad through such a punishing season last time has worn down their players, otherwise it seems unlikely that Ivanovic, Matic and Fabregas should suddenly be over the hill. Same goes for Jon Terry, unless his last couple of seasons were on borrowed time, ignoring/papering over underlying injury issues, its odd that a cb never blessed with pace should suddenly fade so dramatically at 34. Ferdinand, Cambell, Keown, Adams all had very good seasons north of that age.
Likewise the ‘City’s title to lose’ rhetoric is very silly and pays scant regard to recent history. The same journos made the same mistake with Scolari’s unbeatable Chelsea after 7 games. Likely fitness issues that Kompany, Aguero and Yaya might face would make the season look less like a walk in the park.
Most likely is that City lose points here and there, as all teams do. Chelsea eventually pick up even if they don’t have a sterling season. Meanwhile Arsenal and Man Utd pick up points (as they have done so far despite under whelming) so we talk about 4 teams still in it at xmas. Then I’d be amazed if we are not talking about some sort of title race still towards the end of April. Basically we’ve only had 4 games so far.
All Mouth, No Trousers
After the gaffer ran his mouth off about our new found defensive solidity the weekend’s result was somewhat wholly predictable. We’ve been (bar the odd purple patch) a sort of one-step forward, five-steps back circus for quite some time now.
I do wonder if Brendan’s inability to stop flapping his gums is down to his veneers and the fact his loves letting the world see them? I’ve been considering them but if they turn people into such gobsh*tes as he I might pass.
Next up Old Trafford. Who knows what Liverpool will turn up. We’ll either get a pasting or a morale needing victory – we have to be the most Jekyll & Hyde team going? By turns brilliant and by turns awful…very little in between. The trouble for Brendan is that we seem to be Mr Hyde far too often under his stewardship. If Gomez’ position is to be CB going forward why play him out at LB? Give him a game with Skrtl? Couldn’t be any worse than Lovren, surely? Whether or not OT is the place for such an experiment is open for debate, natch. Although United aren’t without troubles of their own they’re probably playing us at the right time… Joy.
Gregory Whitehead, LFC
Enjoying Van Gaal’s Struggles
As bad as Liverpool were, and they were bad, I can always rely on Van Gaal to cheer me up. The best part of it all is that due to his former glories, added to the desperation brought upon by Moyes, it’s clear to me that United supporters will rally behind him and ensure he stays at the helm.
Regardless of how badly he’s doing his job.
That was always the problem with Moyes in charge. Because as funny as his tenure was, it was obvious that he’d be fired as soon as he was found out. Not so with with Van Gaal though. He seems to have the freedom of the city. Lovely.
Couldn’t happen to a nicer club
Dear Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal,
Please at least one of you lot wake up and start playing decent football or City will walk the title by December. And that would be an even longer and more boring run-in to the title than last season.
The Neutral Football Fan
Matt Wright in the weekend Mailbox thinks that Arsenal don’t need a striker and that the midfield should just focus on creating chances and not farting around the pitch.
Well, those midfield players managed to create 22 shots at goal. That’s 22! And the only goal in the game came from a shot that was deflected in when it was clearly going wide.
Yeah. The problem is definitely not enough goal opportunities….
The only good thing about watching the dire Newcastle/Arsenal game was the fact that Michael Owen wasn’t co-commentating. His replacement was Robbie Savage which was OK as I couldn’t understand a word he was saying so I don’t know if he was coming out with the usual Owen type drivel.
Macca (Grateful for small mercies) Herts
Anyone Checked On Degsy?
Dear Degsy Bilton
U OK Hun?
Dear F365 Management
I think you need to organise a whip-round. The guy’s got to eat. When handing over a fistful of fivers, please have a quiet word about placing faith in Rooney, Giroud and Liverpool. That’s taking the scenic route to prosperity
Mark Meadowcroft MCFC
…If Degsy can get away from his mafiosi captors long enough to read the mailbox, I seem to remember that founding a clown college did wonders for Krusty the Klown when he got into gambling trouble.
Note: Joe Valachi, Benedict Arnold and Homer Simpson are all bad aliases after your escape and plastic surgery…
Though keep fake boobs. They might come in handy as you try to raise funds in a new country.
Ian, LFC Hartford, CT Yank in Colombia