Louis van Gaal has given Luke Shaw a few days off to help his recovery from the broken leg he suffered in Manchester United’s opening Champions League fixture at PSV Eindhoven, partly so he can avoid the potentially upsetting duty of having to view Wednesday night’s return game.
The United manager normally operates a strict policy of demanding every squad player attend every game, injured or not, to support colleagues in the team and show solidarity as a club. Even though he accepts Héctor Moreno’s challenge in the first game in September was an accident Van Gaal still thought the occasion might be too much for a player who will miss most of the season as a result, so he made an exception for his left-back.
“I think Luke is recovering very well but you never know with an injury like that,” Van Gaal said. “One bad week can be all it takes to put you months behind schedule. I think he is dealing with the situation well but now he has become a little bit fed up with the daily routine, so because of that, and also because of the PSV game, I gave him four days off.
“I thought that was perhaps why he was fed up, the thought of having to watch the PSV game with his colleagues. So he can have some time off, then on Friday he has a scan and we learn more about how the injury is going.”
That is what Van Gaal calls his “total human being principle”, it does not necessarily mean he is expecting any more breaks or bruises on Wednesday, and nor does he imagine retaliation or ill-feeling from his own players will be a problem. “I do not think my players will be out for revenge, I am sure of that so I have tried not to make it into an issue,” the United manager said.
“I have said many times that it was not his [Moreno’s] purpose. In football it can happen. It is a resistance sport and it is not the first time somebody is injured with a broken leg, but it is still a loss for us all the same. Shaw is a very important player for us and I said in advance that he would be the revelation of the season.
“I didn’t buy another left-back for that reason, and because I also had Daley Blind, Marco Rojo and Ashley Young who could play in that position. I can manage the situation but it remains a loss because in my opinion Shaw is the best left-back at the club.”
United could qualify for the knockout stages with a win against Eindhoven, any other result would probably leave them needing to beat Wolfsburg away from home in their final game. Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial both trained on Tuesday and are expected to play, though Van Gaal denied that as captain the former would be an automatic choice to return.
Support InfoStride News' Credible Journalism: Only credible journalism can guarantee a fair, accountable and transparent society, including democracy and government. It involves a lot of efforts and money. We need your support. Click here to Donate