Van Gaal: “Boo me, not the players”

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Louis Van Gaal wants Manchester United’s fans to put the blame for his teams lacklsuter offensive performances squarely on his shoulders.

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United face West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford on Saturday (Watch live, 10 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra) in front of over 75,000 of their own fans.

The Red Devils have only scored one in their last four games in all competitions which has led to fans shouting “attack, attack, attack” from the stands as their side look solid at the back but have struggled to get things going in the final third.

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Speaking to the media on Friday, LVG believes the players don’t need extra pressure from their own fans.

“The supporters have to support the players otherwise they make it very difficult for the players to play at Old Trafford. Criticism from the fans is never unfair because it is the feeling of the fans and you cannot criticise the feelings of the fans. I think we have to play for the fans. But as I have already said the fans also have to understand the game and the resistance of our opponents. They also have to analyse that.

“I can only advise the fans to criticise the manager and not the players. It’s very difficult to play for Manchester United with a lot of pressure and if you can taste that in Old Trafford because of all the yelling, then it’s not good for my players. Then it’s better to whistle the manager, I can cope with it because I have had a lot of experience in my life as a manager.”

As bad as things have gotten for United going forward, and it has been rather laborious watching them play so far this season, they still sit fourth in the Premier League and are just four points off Manchester City and Arsenal in top spot.

However, take a look at the stat below.

Yeah, for an offense which possesses Wayne Rooney, Juan Mata and new signings Anthony Martial and Memphis Depay (that duo cost United $90 million this summer) the output just hasn’t been good enough and LVG isn’t dismissing the fact that his team must improve going forward.

His team will come up against another stubborn defense in Tony Pulis‘ West Bromwich Albion this Saturday so unless United score early and often, expect the boos and chants at Old Trafford to appear. Whether or not they are directed at LVG or his players, the atmosphere won’t be positive despite the Red Devils enjoying a much better start to this season than either of the last two campaigns.