The Guardian
Email YouTube Facebook Instagram Twitter WhatsApp

Man United, a specialist in draws under Louis van Gaal


Van Gaal

Van Gaal

It was another frustrating night at Old Trafford as Manchester United failed miserably in their efforts to break down PSV Eindhoven’s defence in the Champions League.

The jeers from the Old Trafford crowd on the final whistle told everything following another performance lacking the panache and prowess of previous United teams.

Their build-up was simply too ponderous, with far too many passes going backwards or astray. There was little tempo and precious few scoring opportunities, with those carved out typically shots from distance that were easily dealt with.

Louis van Gaal’s possession game has undoubtedly made United resolute – they rarely look like conceding – but it has also curbed their old attacking instincts.

This team is unrecognisable from one Sir Alex Ferguson would have sent out and, sadly for United fans, a return to those free-flowing times appears a long way off – as does a return to winning trophies.

According to Opta, United have failed to score in four of their last seven matches in all competitions – with all four ending goalless.

This damaging spell has seen draws in the Premier League with Manchester City and Crystal Palace, an exit from the Capital One Cup against Middlesbrough, and this latest stalemate, which leaves them requiring a win away to Wolfsburg in two weeks to carry on in the Champions League.

Going further back to the 3-0 loss at Arsenal at the start of October, it means United have failed to score in five of their last 10 matches.

This has not been the case all season. In September, United found the net 15 times in six matches and scored three goals in four of those.

It seems the more van Gaal’s possession-based style becomes entrenched, the more cautious United become, which is far from the desired effect.

Taking the Premier League by itself, United have already been involved in three goalless draws with not even half the season played.

This is the same amount as the whole of last season and one more than in the David Moyes campaign in 2013-14. During United’s last title-winning season – the last under Ferguson – there wasn’t a single 0-0 draw in the league.
Culled from

Receive News Alerts on Whatsapp: +2348136370421

No comments yet