Wayne Rooney has described Louis Van Gaal as “incredible” and has insisted Manchester United will get it right soon as they aim to bounce back from a shaky start to the season.
United have won only twice of their opening six Premier League games, losing at home against Swansea on the opening weekend of the season and relinquishing a 3-1 lead at Leicester last week, but Rooney, who was sent off against West Ham on Saturday, said that Van Gaal has generated a feel good factor in the dressing room and the players are right behind him.
Having conjured to spectacularly self-implode against Leicester a week ago, United were back to winning ways against West Ham on Saturday, registering their second consecutive home win and, crucially, conceding just once.
What looked to be a fairly routine win after 20 minutes, however, turned out be anything but as United made things complicated for themselves yet again. Here’s five things we have learnt from Saturday.
Louis Van Gaal said Wayne Rooney had been too “unfriendly” and refused to let his captain off the hook, after Rooney was sent off for petulantly kicking out at Stewart Downing during United’s 2-1 win against West Ham on Saturday.
Rooney’s red card left United nervously hanging on for the final half an hour, as they sought to avoid another collapse following a 5-3 defeat at Leicester and has casted doubt of the United captain’s leadership.
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Marouane Fellaini remains determined to prove what he’s capable of at Manchester United and the Belgian has insisted Louis Van Gaal never asked him to leave, despite the reports that circulated in the summer, according to which the former Everton man was on the verge of leaving the club.
The man who perhaps more than any other epitomises David Moyes’ beleaguered spell at United has vowed to win the critics over, as he returned to training following a month on the sideline because of an ankle injury.
Manchester United face a defensive crisis as Louis Van Gaal’s already thin defensive options have been further stretched by Chris Smalling’s umpteenth injury.
Smalling suffered a thigh strain in training on Wednesday and is unlikely he’ll be fit to face West Ham on Saturday, leaving Van Gaal without a recognised centre-back, given Jonny Evans and Phil Jones are also sidelined, while Michael Carrick, who had been touted as a possible short-term solution in the role, is still two weeks away from return.
With Tyler Blackett suspended, Marcos Rojo could be given the nod at centre-back alongside Daley Blind with Luke Shaw making his official debut at left-back, though Van Gaal could also opt to temporarily return to a three-man defence if Smalling fails to recover.
Manchester United might have spent £150m this summer, but Phil Neville believes they’ll need to spend almost as many if they’re to win the Premier League anytime soon.
Amid the cash they splashed on Angel Di Maria, Ander Herrera, Daley Blind and Radamel Falcao, United also secured two defenders, Marcos Rojo and Luke Shaw. The former hasn’t impressed so far, while the latter is yet to make his official debut for United, with Louis Van Gaal’s already limited defensive options further depleted by an injury crisis.
It was fun while it lasted, then it unravelled in catastrophic fashion but, bad as it was, there were some positives to be taken from United’s defeat on Sunday. Here’s five things we’ve learnt from Leicester away