Bournemouth 2 - 1 United
Varela McNair(Jones) Blind Borthwick-Jackson
Lingard(Perreira) Fellaini(Powell) Mata Memphis
This is the game that made me lose my trust in Louis van Gaal. I am not a type of fan that complains all the time about managers and players. Even when our side looked clueless under Moyes, I kept backing the manager. However, I've seen enough today to make me think that our current manager isn't taking us anywhere.
I have honestly forgotten when I've last enjoyed watching my beloved United play a football game. Football is about points and winning but it's also about entertainment. People like me look forward to those weekly two-hours during which we forget about everything and just sip some beer while watching the mighty Man Utd take on their weekly opposition. It used to be fun, it used to be exciting but gone are those days. Don't get me wrong, the sight of the players getting out of the tunnel still gets me excited. I still live in hope that our players will put in a performance that will leave me breathless; like they did last season at home to Manchester City. But that's just not happening. We've been drawing games for fun. We've forgotten what real wing-play is and, most importantly, we've forgotten how to create chances. Again, today we had one shot on target during the second half.
I accept that Fergie was one in a million. We'll never have another manager like him. But his brand of football is still being played by some of the major clubs in Europe. Playing that type of football is still possible but it will never happen under LVG. Yes, for a team that has been dreadful we're still quite close to the top position of the Premier League but that's only because, like us, the teams around us have been dropping points left-right-and-centre. When Moyes was at the club everyone was hammering our side. The people outside Old Trafford were loving every stumble we took and I understand that; I'm loving Chelsea's disastrous season at the moment. The problem is that a lot of fans jumped quickly on the 'Moyes-Out' bandwagon but are reluctant to admit that LVG is increasingly becoming a failure at our club. If LVG managed to get us into Europe with the team Moyes had, then brilliant. But he spent millions of pounds on players that should have made us a better team altogether. With the amount of money spent we should still be playing CL football come February and we shouldn't really be scraping the Under-21 barrel to field a starting XI.
As for today's game, we had a decent first half but were absolutely dreadful during the second. To defend LVG, he had 9 first team players missing but my frustration came about with his perplexing substitutes. Why take off Fellaini and replace him with a player who only played three times for Leicester City (when they were still shit, mind you) last season? Powell hasn't played a PL game since. Fellaini scored a goal and was the only player who looked like getting another one. He's such a nuisance for the opposition in the opposition's box. I like Perreira so I understood why he was put into the game instead of Young BUT I just couldn't understand the Jones substitution. With a few minutes remaining we just had to score a goal to get us a point, yet LVG decides that he should bring on Phil Jones, a central defender, to replace another central defender. Yes, Phil Jones, the player who scored 5 goals in 132 United games. All this when he had Ashley Young on the bench, a player who's capable of creating chances. There's obviously something wrong between LVG and Ashley. Young is also a decent full-back, he could've played a better game than Borthwick-Jackson who had a difficult game today. I'm all out for letting the youth play but not if there's a better option on the bench and given our situation that we're slowly drifting out of the top 4.
I remember when LVG was announced as our manager, a workmate of mine (a big Liverpool supporter) told me that he'll ruin our club. I laughed that suggestion off because I was very optimistic, especially after seeing the exciting football played by the Netherlands team in the World Cup. However, I now feel that the manager has not only lost the fans but he's also lost the dressing room too and that's very worrying. Will the owners let the rot accelerate or will they try and stop it now? I don't know. Ancellotti is currently available and Guardiola will probably become available in the summer. Who'd I choose? I love Guardiola's football but he's always managed a team full of superstars so I guess he'd find it difficult with our current players. As for Ancellotti, he's got things to settle in England after being dumped by Chelsea. We'll see what happens. Hopefully, whether LVG stays or not, we'll be able keep ourselves in the top 4...that should be our only realistic target regardless of how close we are to the top position. Come on United!