Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal said in his press conference on Monday that the team is working on its goal-scoring form after a goal- lacking October. After another disappointing 0-0 draw at Selhurst Park against Crystal Palace, Louis van Gaal’s side needs to re-group and adjust for an important UEFA Champions League clash against CSKA Moscow on Tuesday. Following a 0-0 draw at home in the Manchester derby, United played 120 goalless minutes at home to Middlesbrough before losing 3-1 in penalty kicks. United did not score single goal at home in the month of October, something that should not happen with the current depth and firepower in the squad.
“We try to do that but I think the rhythm of the game in the Premier League is more difficult to develop that. You can see it every week and not only with Manchester United, with the other teams.
Anybody can win or lose to each other. Maybe it is more difficult in the Premier League, I don’t know, but we are trying to do that.
“We are hopefully making history but it takes time. But I have said that before so I cannot repeat myself, otherwise it shall be [headlines of] ‘Van Gaal asks for time again!’.
“Until now there is always progress, it’s always progress. I can remind you [the media] of the fact that you were saying,
“Defending, defending, that is the problem.” No, no. Defensive organisation starts with the attackers, it’s the whole team.
“And now we are the best defenders of the Premier League, you are saying that we cannot attack. No, it is not true. It is only a moment in the process. We have stood first in the Premier League. Now we have a bad period because it is a bad period when you do not score goals. Because football is scoring goals.”
The fact that Anthony Martial, who United
purchased for £36 million from AS Monaco this
summer, has scored five times for the Red Devils
but the star centre-forward has been used as a winger in the past several matches. He has done
well on the wing as he takes on players with
confidence but is only playing on the left because
captain Wayne Rooney is not droppable. Van Gaal said in the press conference on Monday that he believes that the best position for the 19-year-old is at centre-forward. Van Gaal said:
“What is his best position? I think his best position is the striker’s position but he has to develop himself well. He is very young but I think it is better to develop him in the striker’s position than the left winger’s position.
“It is not that I have said his best position is the left winger’s position but he can play three positions, in his eyes, and that is left, and No. 10 and striker. He doesn’t want to play No. 7 [as a right-winger]. I am convinced he can do that also but that is another story.”
The reason that Martial is not playing up top is
because Rooney and Herrera are in at No. 9 and
No. 10 strikers. Rooney cannot be dropped because
he is the captain and leader of the team while
Herrera is currently in fantastic form and Van Gaal
cannot keep him off the field. Martial is a gifted
striker and has the ability to play in multiple
locations, but even Van Gaal knows the Frenchman
is at his best when he is a striker. With Moscow as
United’s next opponents, another goalless result
could be in store for United. However, Van Gaal hopes to change this as the Russian side will look to come to Old Trafford looking for at least one point.
“Football is not a process. Football is not creating chances. No, football is you have to score goals because that makes the difference. We have to improve that, we are busy with that and I hope that we shall score against CSKA Moscow.
“But I know that it is very difficult because they are very organised. They shall play more defensively than Crystal Palace for example. So it shall be very difficult but still we try to score goals.”
Van Gaal has to adjust the team to get goals. What
happened to the side that was beating Southampton and Sunderland 3-0 each and taking down Liverpool 3-1 in front of an electric crowd at Old Trafford? It makes sense that people blame Rooney due to his lack of contribution to goals, but football is a team sport and that is something that has to be remembered. The defence looks impenetrable at the moment, but the attack just seems to be one step off. Van Gaal must put Martial up top and maybe even give the likes of Ashley Young and/or Memphis Depay another chance in an attacking role on the wing. United have a roster that can win the Premier League and go far in the Champions League, but it is ultimately up to Van Gaal and the coaching staff to make the right decisions and work to get the side scoring goals.
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