Louis van Gaal, Long Ball

Van Gaal faces critical tactical choices in the weeks ahead

José Mourinho believes possession can be dangerous; his biographer even asserted that the Portuguese manager sometimes instructs his team to get rid of the ball. The argument is that a team with the ball is more likely to make fatal mistakes by being lulled into complacency or frustration. Over the past 20 years Manchester United […]

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Rant Cast - United Rant

Rant Cast 229 – a season on the edge

Remember when Manchester United was good? No, not during Sir Alex Ferguson's reign, but that period when Louis van Gaal's side won six games on the spin. Seems a long time ago now. Defeat at Stamford Bridge, hammered by Everton, and now a home … more

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Manchester United v West Bromwich Albion, Premier League, Old Trafford, 2 May 2015

United v West Brom: Fletcher returns to Old Trafford

In a season of mixed lows and the occasional high Manchester United's defeats to Chelsea and Everton were, remarkably perhaps, the first time Louis van Gaal's side had lost in consecutive games. The data point is a surprise - perhaps a measure … more

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David De Gea

Reds face tough choice in search for De Gea alternative

It is football's equivalent of Oscar Season; that time of year when the gongs are handed out and the focus is on individuals rather than teams. This year Manchester United's sole nominee at the Professional Footballers Association ceremony, held last … more

Rant Cast - United Rant

Rant Cast 228 – motivate this

Six victories in a row followed by defeat at Stamford Bridge last weekend and then again at Everton on Sunday has brought Louis van Gaal's team crashing back to earth. Remarkably, Dutchman characterised his team's performance at Everton 'lacking in … more

Everton v Manchester United, Goodison Park, Premier League , 26 April 2015

Everton v United: Fellaini’s return

He is, said one prominent journalist around this time last year, a "strange player." Possessing neither the technical skill that is typical of an attacking player at a top club, nor the defensive instincts required to lock down a place in David … more

Chris Smalling

Smalling signs but his place is far from certain

It has, at times, been a strange campaign for Chris Smalling. From the "stupid" pariah after dismissal at Manchester City back in November to United's most accomplished defender in recent weeks. If anything Smalling's past two months have been his … more

Rant Cast - United Rant

Rant Cast 227 – José’s magic bus

José Mourinho's magic bus - whenever the Portuguese coach needs a result it is neatly parked and always comes up with the goods. Plus ça change. Manchester United enjoyed 71 per cent possession at Stamford Bridge on Saturday evening, the majority … more

Chelsea v Manchester United, Premier League, Stamford Bridge, 18 April 2015

Chelsea v United: injuries hit United’s hopes

It is Louis van Gaal's biggest challenge of the season: Saturday afternoon's trip to Champions-elect Chelsea. If the revival in Manchester United's fortunes over the past two months has been stark then perhaps the truest barometer of the Reds' … more

David De Gea

Poll: Who is United’s Player of the Season?

It is football's equivalent of Oscar Season; that time of year when the gongs are handed out and the focus is on individuals rather than teams. It is a process, says Arsene Wenger, that deflects from the team ethic required in professional … more

Wayne Rooney, Manchester City

United dominant but now comes the real benchmark

Manchester United's six-game winning streak - in the Premier League at least - is remarkable for many reasons. Not least because this is now a United side high on belief, quick in the pass and effortlessly creative - three qualities that Louis van … more

Rant Cast - United Rant

Rant Cast 226 – derby day joy!

As Neil Kinnock once said OH YES, OH YES, OH YES! Victory over Manchester City in the derby - and what a fine victory it was! Four defeats in a row to the Blues had become just too painful to bear, but with Louis van Gaal's side in outstanding form … more

Manchester United v Manchester City, Premier League, Old Trafford, 12 April 2015

United v City: Van Gaal dreams of victory

This has not been a kind fixture for Manchester United fans of late. After all, the Blues from east of the city have come to dominate, with Abu Dhabi's riches underpinning four victories in a row and six in the past 10 league matches between these … more