Fans, legendary ex-players, pundits and everybody else in-between are calling Manchester United’s play boring.
Manager Louis Van Gaal? He has other ideas.
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Ahead of United’s trip to Newcastle on Tuesday (Watch live, 2:45 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra) Van Gaal was asked by the media why thousands of home fans were streaming out of the exits at Old Trafford during the closing stages of their narrow 1-0 FA Cup third round win over third-tier Sheffield United on Saturday.
“They are not thinking that we would score, I think, and maybe also because of the traffic that they leave the stadium a few minutes early,” Van Gaal said.
“There are many reasons why someone might leave early,” Van Gaal added. “When I was looking at matches to analyse an opponent, I have done that also – I leave the stadium five minutes before. You never know what the reason is. You can be very negative. But we are in the next round.”
“I think the fans have supported our team. It is not an easy time now, so I think the fans were there also. How many stadiums were like our stadium – full, I think?
“You can mention how they leave, but you can also mention how they come to the stadium to watch this FA Cup match.”
United won the game 1-0 thanks to Wayne Rooney‘s somewhat dubious 93rd-minute penalty kick to seal their spot in the fourth round.
It was yet another disappointing display from LVG’s boys — the manager insists United’s fans “should be happy” because they won — as they have now failed to score in the first half of any of their last 10 home games in all competitions.
Once again dominating plenty of the ball — United had 71 percent of the play against the battling Blades — the sluggish build-up to the final third was again evident as United’s supporters chanted “attack, attack, attack” from the stands. That chant is becoming commonplace at Old Trafford during every single home game.
After snapping a eight-game winless streak last week by beating Swansea City last weekend, United sit fifth in Premier League table and are just three points off the top four.
That said, these woeful displays aren’t fooling anyone, hence the real reason fans were leaving early on Saturday. If you ask most of them, they’d rather watch paint dry than United play. Louis, it has nothing to do with the traffic.