Man United Performance Offers Hope of Top 4 Finish

Van Gaal's Press Conference: Southampton

As Man United faced up to Stoke on Tuesday night many fans feared they’d witness another boring, high possesion, few chances type of game but we couldn’t have been more wrong.

The stats show it’s the small, defensive teams United have struggled to break down this season, making Stoke possibly to worst team for us to play. Our slow, possession based football is easy to defend against, so The Potters, who are known for being notoriously difficult to break down, will have been confident they could leave Old Trafford with at least a draw.

From the start Man United showed great intent with shots at goal, quick passing and over loading our attacks with players wide and through the middle.

Our first goal came from a brilliant low cross by Cameron Borthwick-Jackson which the Stoke defence were hesitate to touch, with fear they could knock it in themselves, only to be met by Lingard at the back post.

The Man United we’ve seen this season may have rested with the lead until half time but this was a team which were out to prove a point and eventually it paid off.

The second goal will surely go down as one of the goals of the season, it was quick, decisive  and everything we’ve seen throughout the years. A quick ball from Carrick eventually reached Mata on the wing who managed to take out two Stoke defenders with a slick pass to Rooney who crossed it to Martial, leaving the French youngster to curl it into the top corner.

Two goals in the first half? Man United fans couldn’t believe this was the same team they’ve been watching all season, a team who haven’t scored a first half goal since September.

The second half was always going to struggle to match the intensity of the first but in the 53rd min another great passing move ended with Rooney tapping the ball in to make it 3-0.

Are Man United Back?

I know Man United fans don’t want to hear or answer this question but there’s a reason we should at least consider it. The performance against Stoke wasn’t a one off. Consider how well the team played against Liverpool and Derby, quick, attacking, using width, it’s almost as though van Gaal has learnt how to get the best out the team.

We started the season with a strong defence but poor in attack, however due to criticism from fans, media and club legends, he began focussing on playing more attacking football. This left us short in defence, often conceding unnecessary goals but in the last few weeks we appear to have gotten the balance right.

We are able to break down defensive teams using quick passing and width, while also not getting caught out on the counter attack. I know we could say Southampton proves otherwise but could that just be a one-off?

I’d like think these performances will continue and with Arsenal and Chelsea coming up it’s going to be vital we win our next few matches if we want a top 4 finish.

Louis van Gaal Out – Fan Review

The United Stand - LvG Out

After a poor display against Sheffield Utd which required a penalty to see Manchester United go through, The United Stand ask fans, is it time for Louis van Gaal to leave.

The Stand ask how much longer can the board stick with Louis van Gaal, who should take over is he does get the sack and what is the future of the Old Trafford club?

Bastian Schweinsteiger Injured for Newcastle Game

Louis van Gaal has confirmed Bastian Schweinsteiger will miss the trip to Newcastle due to the injury he picked up against Sheffield United.

Speaking to MUTV this afternoon van Gaal said:

“Bastian is injured, that we know,”

“We have seen that because he could not move.”

According to the Dutchman other players also need to be assessed ahead of the trip to the North East, he said,

“That is difficult, because it is so close to the match against Sheffield United,” he said. “We have to recover. Yesterday we recovered but we have to see if the players are still overloaded or not. Until this moment, the players have not arrived so we have to wait and see.

“After I know all the data, I can line up. That is why it is always difficult in a period when we have to play a lot of matches. You have to wait to see how the players are recovering of the load in the match.”

 

 

Sheff Utd Shows How Far United Have Fallen

Rooney - Sheffield United

Manchester United scrape a 1-0 win against League 1 opposition, Sheffield United, thanks to an injury time penalty.

It was a game we were expected to win, although nothing can be taken for granted in the FA Cup, however Manchester United’s style and tactics made it a much harder task than it needed to be.

The first half ended just as ever other half has this season, possession, cross which no one meets and few chances with no shots at goal.

If someone dared to do something special it may have come from Martial, however even he is wasted out on the left.

The second half wasn’t any better and when Memphis came on with the audacity to shot from distance the United fans responded with ironic cheers.

When the Dutchman went down inside the box to win a penalty in the 93rd min we knew a goal would only paper over the cracks. Rooney scored from the spot kick and United went on  to win but this wasn’t a game which was supposed to be just about getting a win.

How Low Have Man United Sunk?

The biggest criticism of Louis van Gaal and his style is….well there is no style to it, it’s boring, slow and even League 1 teams can defend against it.

We required a penalty to win because Sheffield United found it ridiculously easy to defend against a team which are supposed to be challenge for the Premier League.

Louis van Gaal, Rooney, Fellaini and many others have said “it was just about getting the win”, no it  wasn’t, this is a team who have been told by fans to play more exciting football. If they can create chances or have shots a goal against Sheffield United how are they supposed to do it next season when we are expected to challenge for the league?

If the Man United board decide to stick with Louis van Gaal he will have to get busy in the January transfer market because the team desperately needs a striker and right winger.

Martial Wins Player Of The Month

Anthony Martial Player of the Month

Anthony Martial has won the Manchester United player of the month for December, with an impressive 69% of the votes.

Martial, who signed in the summer has been a bright spark in a dull season and his goals against Wolfsburg and Norwich helped him stand out amongst the rest.

The French striker has been playing left wing for the majority of time at United, however the start of December saw him move upfront with Rooney out injured.

Chris Smalling, who’s also had an impressive season came second with Daley Blind, an unsung hero at CB, taking fourth spot.

At just 21 yrs old Martial is proving to be an excellent signing and even those who want Louis van Gaal out would have to admit signing the Frenchman has been his greatest achievement at the club.

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