Manchester United’s dismal season keeps going from bad to worse.
Following their 3-0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday it is claimed that players hit out at manager Louis Van Gaal for his bizarre tactical decisions during the game.
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According to the very well sourced Neil Ashton of the Sun, United’s players have turned against Van Gaal following their second half shellacking by Spurs.
The report includes details regarding the treatment of Marcus Rashford as the 18-year-old striker was subbed out at half time on Sunday and humiliated in front of the entire squad with Van Gaal laying into him about the runs he was making against Tottenham’s defense (the best in the PL) and Toby Alderweireld in particular.
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Ashley Young, a winger, came on in his place and looked lost up front, as Anthony Martial had United’s only shot on target during the game, a tame effort in the second half after he cut in from the left and beat three Spurs defenders. 18-year-old right back Timothy Fosu-Mensah was United’s best player but when he came off injured in the 68th minute, they crumbled. Substitute Matteo Darmian, an Italian international who has put in remarkably poor displays since being dropped and criticized by Van Gaal, looked lost and all three of Spurs’ goals in a disastrous five-minute spell came down his flank.
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Despite the dismal display — compounded by the fact that their team bus turned up late for the game and kick off was delayed — Van Gaal seemed fine with the result. In fact, he didn’t really see a problem in United losing at Spurs for the first time in 15 years. His future remains in doubt beyond this season, his second in charge, but it appears executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward wants to stick with the Dutchman and let Van Gaal see out the final year of his three-year deal.
The Red Devils are currently four points off fourth-placed Manchester City with six games to go and they face West Ham United in an FA Cup quarterfinal replay on Wednesday.
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Jose Mourinho keeps throwing himself out there but United, as of yet, don’t seem to be interested.
Here’s an extract from Ashton’s report which sums up the current mood in United’s dressing room:
Van Gaal’s authority has been eroded over the past two seasons and the aura has pretty much disappeared. He is yesterday’s man.
The playing staff are acutely aware of that and are far more confrontational with him than in his first season.
He was fatally undermined by executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward earlier this year when he asked senior players about Van Gaal’s methods. The responses were not complimentary.
Woodward is a frequent dressing-room visitor after matches and he will know that the atmosphere is not good again.