Aug 30, 2014, 12:43 PM EST
While Manchester United fans are grumbling about their manager’s 3-5-2 formation, the boss himself is critical of officiating in the Red Devils scoreless draw against Burnley at Turf Moor.
While van Gaal wasn’t drawn into dissecting the two non-penalty calls karmically-denied to Ashley Young, the manager wondered aloud how his team could dominate a half but win less free kicks than his newly-promoted opponents.
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“We had more possession of the ball than Burnley but more free-kicks were awarded against us than in favour of us,” van Gaal said. “I think that is remarkable.”
Moreover, the manager was concerned about his club’s play in the first half when, aside from some brilliant moments from new boy Angel Di Maria, his club looked like fish out of water.
While the Red Devils did find plenty of promise in the second half, no one scored. Robin van Persie looked slow, Wayne Rooney missed a close header, and Juan Mata was nearly invisible.
“We played much better in the second half and created more chances. But you have to score from those chances, and we didn’t do that. It’s a disappointing result.”
“I don’t think our confidence level was very high in the first half. But I think that’s normal when a club like United loses the first match and draws the second one. The pressure is higher and you have to cope with that. I could see in the first half that the players were very nervous to play the ball. We restored that in the second half, and maybe that will raise our confidence.”
Van Gaal knows he was without the majority of his reinforcements. Marcos Rojo has not had his work permit cleared, and Daley Blind has yet to agree to personal terms. Di Maria was unable to go the full 90 minutes, while Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera were not available.
Things will eventually be fine for United, but this slow start could cost them dearly late in the season as LVG mounts a rush for European qualification.
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Dec 19, 2014, 7:10 PM EST
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Dec 19, 2014, 6:20 PM EST
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Dec 19, 2014, 5:30 PM EST
England’s number one keeper finally put pen to paper with a new deal that will keep him at the Etihad until 2019.
Dec 19, 2014, 4:40 PM EST
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Dec 19, 2014, 3:55 PM EST
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Dec 19, 2014, 3:20 PM EST
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Dec 19, 2014, 1:43 PM EST
Altidore’s production for his country and in the Eredivisie prove he’s a much better player than his horrible spell at Sunderland.
Dec 19, 2014, 12:52 PM EST
According to The Daily Express, Man Utd’s man if Mats Hummels won’t come over from Borussia Dortmund is Nicolas Otamendi of Valencia.
Dec 19, 2014, 12:00 PM EST
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Dec 19, 2014, 11:38 AM EST
“He had to make a step back in his recovery,” said Southampton boss Ronald Koeman.
Dec 19, 2014, 10:50 AM EST
Villa Park hasn’t been a fortress for the Villans, and that’s underlined when bigger teams visit.
Dec 19, 2014, 10:10 AM EST
Sporting also added Hungarian striker Kristian Nemeth and Haitian mid James Marcellin.
Dec 19, 2014, 10:02 AM EST
Here’s how PST’s lead writer and editor sees things panning out this weekend.
Dec 19, 2014, 9:06 AM EST
Mangala on visitors to the Etihad: “Normally, teams that are coming here play more defensively.”
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