Everton v United: Fellaini’s return

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

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 Moyes’ central midfield, Marouane Fellaini has, somehow, become a central figure at Manchester […]

Chelsea v United: injuries hit United’s hopes

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

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’ progress comes at Stamford Bridge. After all José Mourinho’s side is yet to lose at home […]

United v City: Van Gaal dreams of victory

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

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 sides. It is a record that few United supporters […]

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 […]

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 […]