Liverpool v United: top four finish on the line

Liverpool v Manchester United, Premier League, Anfield, 1.30 22 March 2015

Each has enjoyed the swing of contrasting fortune this season. While Manchester United has spent much of the post-autumn period in the top four, at one point losing just twice in more than 20 games, it is Liverpool’s late run that threatens to usurp Louis van Gaal’s side in the race for European football. Indeed, […]

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 […]

Above all a team

Louis van Gaal, Robin van Perise

Outclassed, out-passed and creatively out-imagined at home by a side struggling to break out of the relegation zone –  last Wednesday Old Trafford witnessed Sean Dyche’s Burnley outplay Manchester United in almost every way. Yet, amazingly, it was Louis van Gaal’s side that earned three points at the end of the night to leapfrog Southampton […]

Long Ball United

Daley Blind, Marouane Fellaini

Strange times these. Not only is Louis van Gaal’s Manchester United side every bit as insipid as that presided over by David Moyes last season, but the Dutchman has seemingly taken on board his predecessor’s predilection for long-ball tactics. It’s in the data you know. And while statistics can tell many stories, for the moment […]

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 Leicester: Carrick out

Manchester United v Leicester City, Old Trafford, Premier League, 30 January 2015

In time Louis van Gaal will preside over far more important matches than Manchester United’s 5-3 defeat at Leicester City in September. There will, presumably, be title deciding games, trophies and glory along the way before the 62-year-old leaves Old Trafford – richer and more successful than when he started. That, at least, is the […]

United v Southampton: Van Gaal lauds fully fit Reds

Manchester United v Southampton, Premier League, Old Trafford, 4pm 11 January 2015

Home at last. Manchester United’s road-trip through the festive programme at Aston Villa, Stoke City, Tottenham Hotspur and Yeovil Town has stretched the Reds’ unbeaten run to 11 games, but, some might say, with little uptick in performances. Louis van Gaal’s outfit struggled at Villa and Stoke, ran out of steam in north London and […]