United v Villa: Van Gaal chases title

Manchester United v Aston Villa, Premier League, Old Trafford, 4 April 2015

Amid the season’s most challenging run of games Manchester United’s fixture against Aston Villa this weekend has become something of an afterthought. It is little surprise. After all, this is a period in which Louis van Gaal’s side has faced Tottenham Hotpsur and Liverpool in successive weeks, with Manchester City and Chelsea to come before […]

United v Arsenal: Van Gaal seeks victory in ‘Cup Final’

Manchester United v Arsenal, FA Cup Quarter Final, Old Trafford, 9 March 2015

Up for the cup? Manchester United’s FA Cup record in recent years suggests anything but. Now more than a decade since the club’s last victory in the world’s oldest tournament, manager Louis van Gaal says other priorities take precedent once again. Plus ça change each season for the past decade and more. Typically league and […]

United v Sunderland: Wilson set for striking role

Manchester United v Sunderland, Old Trafford, Premier League, 28 February 2015

Defeat at the Liberty Stadium last weekend was just Manchester United’s second in 20 league and cup matches; a data point to prove that glib stats offer very little insight. It was, after all, also the second reverse that Louis van Gaal’s side had suffered in six games, during a period in which the Reds […]

Swansea v United: “shattered” Reds on the path to recovery

Swansea City v Manchester United, Liberty Stadium, Premier League, 3pm 21 February 2015

Strange season this. Back in August Louis van Gaal declared his players’ confidence “shattered” after Swansea City won at Old Trafford on the opening day. The Welsh side deserved victory against a pensive Manchester United that had been fluent during the summer tour of the United States. If the pattern was not often repeated during the late […]

Preston v United: Reds seek style and substance

Preston North End v Manchester United, Deepdale, FA Cup, 16 February 2015

It is far from the narrative that Louis van Gaal seeks: criticism from supporters, pundits and ex-Manchester United players about his team’s style as well as its substance. After all, the Dutchman has guided United to just one defeat in the past 18 matches – a record that, had it not included eight draws, might […]

West Ham v United: Van Gaal demands victory

West Ham v Manchester United, Upton Park, Premier League, 7 February 2015

Louis van Gaal’s Manchester United side begins Sunday’s fixture in east London 13 points behind Premier League table-toppers Chelsea. The distance to José Mourinho’s side remains the final indicator of progress under the Dutchman, although European qualification is the only real ask of Van Gaal this season. In truth the Reds’ remain some way off the country’s […]

United v Cambridge: Mata demands respect

Manchester United v Cambridge United, Old Trafford, FA Cup, 3 February 2015

Cambridge United supporters have taken up more than 6,600 tickets for Tuesday night’s FA Cup fourth round replay at Old Trafford on Tuesday. Indeed, Us supporters might have made a more significant proportion of Old Trafford’s crowd on the night had it not been for the Glazer family’s universally hated ‘automatic cup ticket scheme’. The […]