Manchester United players surprised by LvG’s tactics

Louis van Gaal

Louis van Gaal still retains the faith and backing of the club’s hierarchy despite United being eliminated from the Champions League Group stages after a 3-2 defeat away to Wolfsburg on Tuesday, but Manchester United players are reportedly growing frustrated, bemused, and disenchanted over the Dutchman’s approach and methods.

According to reports from The Times, several Manchester United players were left surprised with Van Gaal’s decision to remove Juan Mata in the 69th minute when United were trailing 2-1 against the German club on Tuesday night.

Van Gaal was also heavily criticised in the press for bringing Nick Powell in place of Juan Mata. The midfielder hasn’t played for United’s first team for 16 months, but it was the Spaniard’s substitution rather than Powell’s shock introduction that raised eyebrows among the players. 

Meanwhile, Van Gaal is facing a herculean task of fielding his best XI against Bournemouth, with as many as 10 players are missing for the upcoming Premier League tie through injuries.

The defence has been left to bare bones, with two more defenders, Chris Smalling and Matteo Darmian, sustained injuries against the German club, in addition to Phil Jones, Luke Shaw, Antonio Valencia and Marcos Rojo, all are long term absentees. 

United are also missing the services of several key midfield players. Wayne Rooney, Ander Herrera and Morgan Schneiderlin are injured while Bastian Schweinsteiger is likely to be banned for three matches for an alleged elbow on West Ham defender Winston Reid. 

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