Van Gaal could go with the defence he has

Chris Smalling

Two months into the summer 2015 transfer window and Louis Van Gaal has certainly strengthened Manchester United’s squad with a quintet of acquisitions. Matteo Darmian is a huge upgrade over Antonio Valencia at right-back and Memphis Depay adds flair and a sense of unpredictability to United’s forward line. Morgan Schneiderlin and the star of United’s transfer […]

Data Rant: Van Gaal’s obsession with passing

Louis van Gaal

Despite scoring the match winning goal at Villa Park, Adnan Januzaj was criticized by Louis Van Gaal for “unnecessary ball losses.” In fact, pass completion seems to be the chief criterion by which the Manchester United manager judges performance. Why does Van Gaal place such importance upon the passing and is pass completion a robust […]

Van Gaal could ape Barça’s tactical approach

Barcelona, Suarez, Messi, Neymar

Barcelona won everything under Luis Enrique this season: La Liga, Copa del Rey and the Champions League. And yet Enrique’s side is far more pragmatic than Pep Guardiola’s “Dream Team.” Perhaps it is because the current squad, as good as it is, does not match up to Guardiola’s side. Or maybe Neymar and Ivan Rakitic do not […]

Van Gaal’s only option is to attack

Wayne Rooney, Ander Herrera, Angel Di Maria

Manchester United has succumbed to a second season without silverware after defeat to Arsenal in the FA Cup on Monday. At most clubs, this might not be a big deal, where each trophy earned is cherished. The fact that United is in the midst of such tumult says much more about the club. Few clubs […]

Van Gaal set to unleash width

Angel Di Maria

Manchester United’s 2-1 loss to Swansea City last weekend marked a new low in Louis van Gaal’s tenure at the club. With an unlikely hand from Liverpool, United remained in the top four, but with the Reds dangerously close to slipping out of the Champions League spots, and struggling to dispatch lower league sides, the […]

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 […]

Van Gaal’s quest for balance

Louis Van Gaal

Ushered in by a chilly January, snow finally hit Manchester this week, though Manchester United finally warmed up by winning two games on the trot. The Red Devils washed off the “bitter taste” of Leicester City’s 5-3 victory last September with a thumping 3-1 at Old Trafford last Saturday. It marked the return of the […]