A 3-1 win against Burnley, meant after Southampton’s draw with West Ham that Manchester United now sit 3rd in the Premier League table. And after a couple of tricky away trips United have place against a lower opposition in the last 16 of the FA Cup. Statistically speaking, that’s pretty good right? If you’d have asked most United fans at the start of this season would they take where we are now at the start of the season, a good 90% would have been happy with it.
Despite the results fans are getting more and more frustrated with performances or lack of them, from Louis Van Gaal’s side and for some fans, it’s not good enough.
Fortunately I was able to attend the game sitting very close, (a bit too close for my liking) to the managers dugouts. First half, the atmosphere matched the performance. Horrible. After a tactical switch to 442/4321 the second half was better. Not great but better. No surprise how much better we looked with Ander Herrera in the middle of the park to partner Wayne Rooney who after a string of disjointed midfield performances needs to be playing further forward.
Despite eventually winning 3-1 thanks to two Chris Smalling headers and a Robin Van Persie penalty the reaction was extremely negative at full time. A mixture of relief and frustration from many fans on numerous platforms. A few fan cams from the guys at Full Time Devils showed just how frustrated some fans were. Only for an extremely young fan to call for calm. You start to wonder who the mature fans are here.
Stats are available to every man and his dog nowadays and comparisons between players/managers are done constantly throughout the season. With the nightmare that was last season, there was always going to be comparisons of Louis Van Gaal and David Moyes. Many fans took to numerous platforms last night comparing performance from last night to that of one under David Moyes. In particular the game against Olympiacos in Greece. The first thing to note is, if that performance would have been under the management David Moyes, we would not have won. Usually we had to play well to win under David Moyes. The problem was just how infrequent this was!
Last year we were awful and had the results to match. This year despite the change of manager and numerous signings were still awful, but we are picking up results. Isn’t that what football is all about now? Isn’t that what us fans would prefer? I’d rather be 3rd and playing badly than 7th but playing ‘nice football’.
Well some fans must have a very short memory because under Sir Alex Ferguson especially in the latter years, some performances were abysmal. But most of the time we managed to claw over the line. Nobody questioned Ferguson’s ability so why is Louis Van Gaal under so much criticism for doing exactly the same? The concerns from the fans are exactly that. Nothing on the scale of this time last year when the ‘David Moyes Out’ brigade were in full force.
Louis Van Gaal is known for his stubborn nature and has won countless honours because of this but we are starting to see how much he is having to adapt for the result rather than the performance. Last night we were horrific in the first half. Arguably the worst first half under Louis Van Gaal. Changes were made and we were better. So why the panic? We’re 3rd and within a shout of winning the FA Cup. According to @utdreport United have picked up the most points (34) in the last 15 games than any other Premier League Club. Time for calm and to support your team? Or would you rather rant and rave and get on the players back?