Manchester United: Van Gaal blames team for Arsenal defeat; team blames him
In an “Exclusive”, the Times says Manchester United players were “baffled” by Louis van Gaal’s tactics against Arsenal. United were lucky to lose 3-0 at the Emirates.
Manchester United’s players were left dismayed by Louis van Gaal’s unwillingness to adopt the counterattacking tactics at the Emirates Stadium that have served them well against Arsenal in the past. Van Gaal had been encouraged in the build-up to the game to play a system that would involve sitting deeper and hitting on the break but the United manager rebuffed that request in favour of playing a pressing game that failed miserably en route to a dismal 3-0 defeat.
Arsenal ripped them to shreds.
The Dutchman questioned his players’ desire and failure to follow his game plan after United fluffed the first serious test of their Barclays Premier League title credentials on Sunday… Arsenal had won just one of their previous 13 league meetings against United, who have often successfully utilised a counterattacking strategy against Arsène Wenger’s side. Several members of United’s squad believed this was a proven formula that had worked well in the past and would be worth persisting with.
To the Daily Express, this news translates into:
Louis van Gaal faces potential crisis with Man Utd players dismayed over Arsenal tactics
The Indy quotes Van Gaal:
“I was surprised, amazed. I didn’t expect that: not performing to our game plan, not the will to win. I have not seen that. When you give a team like Arsenal so much space to play football then you know you will lose. We have prepared ourselves to play more compact and not losing our aggression. I am very disappointed.
“I don’t know why it happened. I put the question at half-time and after the match because normally I say the things how I see them in the game. We have lost, and lost in a way that you cannot lose when you are top of the league. You cannot start like we started. The worst thing is that now everybody is going away now (on international duty). I can’t build up a new situation so they have the confidence to play football to win your next battle.”
He says it was them. They say it was him.