Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal was unhappy with the pitch and referee as his side drew 0-0 at League Two Cambridge
On Friday night Premier League giants Manchester United produced a goalless draw with League Two Cambridge at the Abbey Stadium.
The lower league side deserved their draw and a replay at Old Trafford.
However, Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal was anything but dignified in his respond to the draw blaming everything from the pitch to Cambridge tea lady for the stalemate.
Van Gaal insisted everything was against United telling Sky Sports: “Every aspect of the match is against us,”
“We have to come here and the pitch is not so good. That can influence you’re playing style. The opponents are giving a lot more than normally and defending is always easier than attacking. Then you see the referee, it’s always the same. Everywhere I have coached, it’s always the same with this referee.
“I know it’s very difficult to beat such an opponent in these circumstances. I know that in advance – I said it in my press conference before the Yeovil Town game. We know in advance everything is against us.”
How dare plucky little Cambridge actually put more effort in because they were up against Manchester United. Imagine that a team trying their hardest to win a football game. How dare they!
It was not like there was a massive gulf in class in players or resources of the two teams. There was just a couple hundred million differences in the value of the two teams and Cambridge played so well it did not show.
I am going to give Cambridge the credit that Mr Van Gaal was so unwilling to afford them. The League Two were outstanding from the first whistle to the last. They gave their all and will be rewarded with a replay at Old Trafford, which should give the U’s a very healthy pay day.
Former-Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson was a master at creating a ‘us against the world’ mentality at United and was not backward at coming forwards when it came to criticising referees, but I doubt even the Scottish managerial legend would have been so ungracious when drawing with a lower league team in such circumstances.
His players would certainly know who was to blame for the performance and what United’s current boss did in his post-match interviews was an attempt to divert the blame from his team’s poor performance against a team far lower than themselves in the football pyramid.
No disrespect to Cambridge, and they no doubt know this themselves they should not even been able to live with a team containing so many expensive players. However, they did and part of that was because the United players underperformed and it was not the first time.
Louis van Gaal needs to start looking at himself and his players, because the referee or the pitch did not influence his player’s poor decision making. Manchester United should be producing better performances and everybody connected with the club can see that on the pitch.
To blame referees and poor pitch for this display would be hiding the fact that quite simply United did not play well enough to win the game.
Louis van Gaal was brought in because he was a high-profile boss with a history of winning trophies wherever he has managed.
He seems to have been given the benefit of the doubt up to now, but now people are asking questions about whether he is the right man to move United forward and not just based on a one-off cup tie against a lower league team.
The Dutchman has recently confessed that he gets ‘twitchy’ playing with a 4-4-2 formation, but his stubbornness in his style and approach could very be the problem. It seems like it’s his way or no way.
The veteran Dutchman has always been something of a feisty, rather abrupt character with an ego to match. However, people have forgiven him for that in the past as he has been successful in winning trophies.
When he is not winning games and trophies though his approach and bullishness will be questioned and doubts will linger about his ability as a boss.
The Manchester United team does seem to have made some progression this season, but much of that progression can be accredited to Van Gaal having spent heavily to strengthen his squad.
Many people have even suggested that former-boss David Moyes may have done just as good a job as Van Gaal, if given the same resources and that would be a fair question at the moment.
Van Gaal may bring success in a few years’ time, but there is still plenty of work to do for United to become the force that they once were and the Dutchman cannot blame referees and poor pitches forever if they do not.
Was Louis van Gaal right not to criticise his players after the draw at Cambridge?