Belfast Telegraph

Louis Van Gaal must take the blame for Manchester United mess

By Steven Beacom

Louis Van Gaal had a pop at his Manchester United players after their embarrassing 5-3 loss to Leicester City.

He had every right.

The Red Devils were a shambolic bunch allowing Nigel Pearson's newly promoted side to hit back from 3-1 down to claim a famous Premier League victory.

Once the Foxes were given a sniff, they raided United's henhouse, clearly built with straw, time and time again, devouring the defenceless.

For United followers it almost became impossible to watch.

For every other football fan, they couldn't get enough of it. Nothing like seeing THEM humiliated.

So much for United being back and being title contenders again after thumping a woeful QPR side 4-0 the previous weekend.

At the King Power stadium they were brought down to earth with an almighty bump and it was not just the pitiful efforts of the players in the last half hour, when they shipped four goals, to blame.

Louis Van Gaal needs to stand up and admit his part in this mess.

After the match he said: "We have too many players who want to seek for the goal."

And whose fault is that?

United spent £200 million in the summer in a bid to put the David Moyes nightmare of last season behind them, yet incredibly they did not purchase one top quality central defender, capable of organising and controlling at the back, when that was what they needed most.

Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic departed in the summer.

Agreed, their best days were behind them but they still left two huge holes to fill.

They remain empty because Dutchman Van Gaal preferred to recruit big name players further forward where United were already reasonably well equipped.

Van Gaal is an experienced operator, who, you would think should know better, which makes what is happening with the Old Trafford club even more staggering.

He arrived with the intention to build a team to win trophies again, but somehow forgot that when you build anything, a strong foundation is needed.

At the Ethiad yesterday, Manchester City's leader at the back was Vincent Kompany while Chelsea had John Terry.

Proper, thou shalt not pass, defenders.

As Leicester ripped the visitors to shreds in the second half, Manchester United were relying on Chris Smalling to keep them at bay!

United have all these star names like Angel Di Mario, who scored a sensational goal yesterday, Radamel Falcao, Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney, Juan Mata and Ander Herrera, but at the back there is nobody even approaching the same stature.

It's the most unbalanced team in the division and if Leicester are destroying them, like League One outfit MK Dons did earlier in the season in the League Cup, what on earth are City and Chelsea going to do to them?

Surely Van Gaal can't think that he will simply outscore the opposition.

As was shown yesterday, that is a massive gamble to take and one that most of the time will fail.

United could argue that when 3-1 up at Leicester, the referee made a poor decision to award the home side a penalty that brought them back into the game.

Fair enough, but what happened after that? United fell apart, conceding three more goals.

The ref wasn't at fault for those.

United only had themselves to blame – players and the manager.

Belfast Telegraph


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