Week 23: Manchester United 0-1 Southampton
Manchester has been awful lately and this new home defeat could seal van Gaal’s faith. The Red Devils probably have left the last title hopes gone away with this dull performance. This team has so much talent but cannot figure out a way to deliver great football. You don’t have to be a United fan to see that change must come. The question is how much longer do we have to linger?
Coach van Gaal reacts for maybe the last time as head of Manchester United?
I think it was a poor performance – two teams who are not creating any chances and the lucky one has won. I had the fear already in advance with every change I did as we became weaker in the defence because [Marouane] Fellaini is a tall guy, [Matteo] Darmian is also a defender and he was out. I had the fear but we don’t have to make that kind of foul, I think, and I changed [Cameron] Borthwick-Jackson for more of an attacker because I want to win this kind of even game, even when you are playing poorly. Adnan [Januzaj] could have scored also the equaliser in the last minute. It is not like that. We have lost and I cannot change that.
Lack of confidence
I can only say what I have seen. I think that, after a row of three victories and a draw in 2016, then you have a lot of confidence. That I didn’t see today. Also, the expectations are very high and the pressure for the players is also high because of that. Of course, at half-time, I changed Juan Mata and saw, in the first 15 minutes, we were better and the fans were behind the team and cheering for the team. Darmian was injured and then it was gone. It’s a pity we didn’t continue with our momentum.
The fans’ reaction
Of course, I have also seen the match and it was a very difficult match. The two teams were well organised but didn’t have the creativity to create chances. The lucky one has won but the fans want to see a winning Manchester United and we could not provide that for them.