United v QPR: Van Gaal considers four debuts

Manchester United v Queens Park Rangers, Old Trafford, 14 September

Louis van Gaal is nothing if not confident. Yet, the Dutchman’s faith in his “philosophy” has been tested during the opening weeks of the 62-year-old’s Old Trafford tenure. Defeat to Swansea City in the Premier League, insipid draws against Sunderland and Burnley, and the embarrassing loss at Milton Keynes Dons, have proffered the impression of seamless […]

Burnley v United: Ángel debut is heaven sent

Burnley v Manchester United, Turf Moor, 30 August 2014

If Louis van Gaal’s start at Manchester United has been anything but auspicious then few will blame the veteran Dutchman for seeking a little help from above. Requests of the Divine are common in football, of course, although it is to a far more potent force that United turned this week: money. Ángel Di Maria’s […]

Ponderous Reds yet to find a new identity

Wayne Rooney, Michael Keane

“It’s a process and that process needs time,” pleaded Louis van Gaal on Friday. It is perhaps the key message for Manchester United supporters to digest after Sunday’s turgid draw with Sunderland on Wearside. Van Gaal has promised that his methods will bring success; on the evidence of two Premier League fixtures this season it may very well be a […]

Sunderland v United: Van Gaal gives up on title

Sunderland v Manchester United, Stadium of Light, 24 August 2014

It wasn’t supposed to be like this. Losing at home was a David Moyes thing – all seven of them in the Premier League last season. Ground zero of Manchester United’s worst campaign in more than 25 years. Louis van Gaal’s appointment was, by contrast, the start of a bright new dawn: sophisticated tactics, positive attacking […]

United v Swansea: van Gaal faces injury crisis

Manchester-United-v-Swansea-City-Old-Trafford

First game of the season, first injury crisis to overcome. New campaign, new manager, same old problems. Is it something in the Carrington water? Louis van Gaal has been in the top job barely two months, but he takes Manchester United into the season’s opener against Swansea City with nine players out of action. Given […]

Data Rant: is attack the best form of defence?

Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic

David Moyes’ defensive outlook at Manchester United failed to bear fruit despite the adage that ‘defence wins championships.’ Even with the Scot’s obvious emphasis on conservatism, Moyes’ Reds failed to better his old club, Everton, in terms of goals conceded last season. United’s back-four is set to be reconstructed this summer after Nemanja Vidić and […]

Preview: Southampton v United

Ryan Giggs, Southampton

It is almost the end of an era. Ryan Giggs’ short spell as Manchester United manager ends on Sunday with the Reds travelling to Southampton for the last game of a disastrous season. One to forget perhaps, save for the interim manager who first won a political battle with David Moyes, and then took charge […]

Preview: United v Hull City

Ryan Giggs

It might just be the end of an era. Not just for a large group of Manchester United players set to leave the club over the summer, but for Ryan Giggs too. With a future role at Old Trafford far from certain, Tuesday night’s match against Hull City could be the last home appearance for […]

Preview: United v Sunderland

Manchester United v Sunderland, Old Trafford, Premier League, 3pm, 3 May 2014

Theres nothing quite like a 100 per cent record to lift the spirits! The Ryan Giggs roadshow rolls on after victory over Norwich City last weekend, with three games in seven days before the Welshman ends his brief stint as Manchester United’s interim manager. Whatever the 40-year-old’s future with the club – and a long-term […]

Preview: United v Norwich City

Class of 92

Ding dong Moyes has gone! What better way to head into a new, albeit temporary, era than under Ryan Giggs’ stewardship – the essence of Manchester United restored after a turbulent season. Giggs may well be a managerial novice – he is not going to be offered the job permanently – but there are few […]