Managers will defend one of their players — often times in the face of common sense and logic — if they feel any good can come from protecting the player against public backlash.
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Louis van Gaal has done it on a number of occasions this year, his first as Manchester United manager, but following his side’s FA Cup exit at the hands of Arsenal and Angel di Maria’s sending off for diving and grabbing the referee from behind, Van Gaal says his Argentine playmaker can have “no excuses” for his actions.
It’s not a matter of settling in at a new club or any kind of cultural difference after moving to a new country, says Van Gaal, who made his stance quite clear regarding Di Maria’s actions.
Van Gaal, from the BBC:
“I think he’s touched the referee and that’s forbidden in every country, so he has no excuses. In Spain, he knows that he doesn’t touch the referee, but that is also in his emotion.
“I’ve already spoken with him, he knows my opinion but also I have to see on the video.”
It’s been a frustrating first season at Man United for Di Maria, and he’s clearly pressing extremely hard to make something happen — evidenced by his dive in effort to win a penalty — to kickstart his United career, but he’ll be waiting a while longer now as he’ll be suspended for Sunday’s league game against Tottenham Hotspur (Watch live at 12 pm ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra) and possibly additional games, assuming an FA charge.