Philosophy and tactics under Louis van Gaal 2015/16

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se7en

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Swansea City - 30/8/2015

His only philosophy is trying to bore the opposition to death, if that doesn't work cross to Fellaini.

His process is talking a good game, it's no different to last year when he stumbled upon a decent line up for 5 games.
 
I feel the tide is turning for him. He has a big couple of days ahead. Needs to bring some quality and pace into the attack. If he doesn't I feel the fans will start to turn with another couple of games like that.
 
Slow tempo and negative passing.

Gary Neville sums up my thoughts:

"Manchester United play football, and they have done for 12-18 months now, at 1-0 and 0-0 like they are winning 4-0. It is not quick enough,” the pundit said on Sky.

"They play really well and they are dominating possession, they've had 65% possession today and 11 shots, but then they've got to score goals."

"They've not got enough cutting edge. They haven't got players who can beat players in the final third, they don't create enough. For me they get lulled into thinking they are playing football really well.

"They dominate possession but they don't dominate matches. You dominate a match by scoring goals and playing at a high tempo. Win the game and then control possession."
 
First doubts over Van Gaal today. Monk outperformed him, he changed the game with a simple tactical switch. We didn't really look like scoring an equaliser.
 
Louis van Gaal’s possession obsession risks blunting Manchester United’s edge | Jonathan Wilson

Paul Breitner expressed similar concerns about Van Gaal’s Bayern. “We swapped Bayern’s traditional style for this high-possession game but there was still no flexibility in terms of players’ positions and everyone had to stick rigidly to his own area,” he told Marti Perarnau in Pep Confidential. “In some matches, we ended up with 80% possession but there was no real rhythm or pace. After half an hour, everyone in the Allianz Arena would be yawning at this display of constant passing. Our game was well executed but very, very predictable … the basic idea was sound. What we lacked was speed and regular changes of rhythm.”
 
Liverpool - 12th September 2015

Same shite as usual for the first half, did the goal change the game against Liverpool or was it a van Gaal change that riled them up?

I hope the second half wasn't a one off and we go back to the sideways philosophy.
 
Difficult question to answer, with the goal coming early in the half. Young's introduction made a difference.

The team still lacked a cutting edge in the attacking third.
 
Van gaal's philosophy works so much better with pace on the wings. It also helps if the opponents are chasing the game. It leaves gaps which we exploit better.
 
Thought first 15 of 1st half yet again was very good but we seemed to slip in to a comfort zone, happened against Newcastle and Swansea too where we start really well and then seem to think we're 3-0 up. Happened again today I thought.
 
What I find strange is that we seem to open up when we go ahead.. We are rigid through games at 0-0, and with a goal you would expect us to become even more so, but the last two games at 1-0 up we opened up more. It can work both ways, against Swansea we had a good few opportunities to add to our lead but didn't take them and we were punished on the break. Against Liverpool they had a few very good chances to level things at 1-0 when we were searching for a second. It's bizarre. I'd prefer if we started more open and then became more rigid with a lead.
 
Manchester United 0-0 Middlesbrough (1-3 pens) - 28th October 2015

I'd like to know what essay's he writes in his notepad all game. His philosophy is full of bollocks at the minute.
 
Defensive wise it seems to work most of the time but in attack there's just no pace
 
I have come to accept our style of play. It is, what it is.

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I was expecting the stats to show something better than what I've seen but nope.

As much as Rooney has been pants the style we play at has made him, van Persie, Falcao and Wilson look even worse.
 
Crystal Palace 0-0 Manchester United - 31st October 2015

Really losing patience with Van Gaal now. Far too cautious. Failed to score in far too many games already this season. Not good enough. We're not even creating chances now.
 
Boring the opposition to death tactic isn't working Louie
 
Wouldn't this have been better?

Darmian Smalling McNair Blind
 
It probably would in terms getting everybody playing in positions they are comfortable in. However I have big doubts about Mcnair.
 
Thought it said a lot about Van Gaal's thoughts on McNair right now. Didn't expect McNair to start after Van Gaal criticised him for the Leicester goal last week, clearly doesn't trust him at CB after that. Had Rojo not been injured, he'd have started on left with Darmian on the right.
 
Manchester United 0-0 Chelsea - 28th December 2015

Another 0-0. Better performance, felt like players had been given freedom to do whatever in first half but ultimately not good enough again with us failing to break down the opposition too many times yet again. Teams know what they need to do against us and have done for a while. Soak it up and look to sneak it on the break, we need fresh ideas in attack and in general. Same thing week after week.
 
Newcastle United 3-3 Manchester United - 18th January 2016

So what happened in the Newcastle game? Because that didn't seem like the team were playing with his philosophy...

A couple of times this season it's almost been as if LVG wants to make a point? That when the fans get attacking football it comes with a price! And both times we've been unfortunate and we've been undone. But I refuse to believe in most games that would continue to be the case.
 
It is strange, there has seemingly been more freedom about us since that poor run. Something changed after that Stoke game, he looked a beaten man that day. Perhaps Van Gaal has been told to change by the board or lose his job or maybe he could see himself that he needed to change to keep his job.
 
Derby County 1-3 Manchester United - 29th January 2016

Was out last night at darts so couldn't watch properly, saw bits of it though, seemed like a change of approach... quicker tempo and more direct, players playing with more risk and freedom. But as I say, I saw very little of the game so what do we think?
 
It's like lvg said in the presser, like any other match. Just that the opposition were poor at defending and keeping the ball. We also got a bit more space when they tried to counter.
 
Didn't see the game last night but I've read good things and obviously Rooneys goal was a beaut...

I guess there's two ways to look at last night. Firstly from the sounds of it we played with more pace and purpose so that's good. On the other hand we were playing a lower division team on a terrible run. You'd expect us to do that against the likes of Derby. But you can only beat what is in front of you and we did that last night! So job done, improved performance and for a change this season reason to be happier.
 
Didn't see the game last night but I've read good things and obviously Rooneys goal was a beaut...

I guess there's two ways to look at last night. Firstly from the sounds of it we played with more pace and purpose so that's good. On the other hand we were playing a lower division team on a terrible run. You'd expect us to do that against the likes of Derby. But you can only beat what is in front of you and we did that last night! So job done, improved performance and for a change this season reason to be happier.

I am not slagging our performance last night. It was good. But performances are also down to the other team. If they play poorly we are made to look very good and vice versa. I was trying to say that we weren't doing anything different than before. Just that we will have the same trouble of breaking down well organized defenses.
 
I am not slagging our performance last night. It was good. But performances are also down to the other team. If they play poorly we are made to look very good and vice versa. I was trying to say that we weren't doing anything different than before. Just that we will have the same trouble of breaking down well organized defenses.

Sorry mate I was literally just making a general statement. I know you weren't being down or negative on our performance. To be honest I think people are making too much of it. It was against a poor derby team in awful form. If anything it says more about how bad and dull we've been. The reason we had more space was purely down to the opposition not being good enough. And when they had the ball they gave it away cheaply.
 
"...a very positive win with a more dynamic, fluid style that we hope to maintain from now on."
Juan Mata García posted on KICCA

"It was really positive. We started on the front foot, we played with freedom and I think we excited the fans. We have to press teams in most games now, put them on the back foot and force mistakes, then we can get the second ball and start playing football..."
Jesse Lingard explains Manchester United tactics against Derby County - Official Manchester United Website

Certainly seems like there's been a change of approach from Van Gaal with the way these 2 players are talking. Have said previously that I think Mata could flourish in a central role if we played a more fluid style of football with pace around him. Hopefully will.
 
I do think though that some level of realism needs to be applied here... It was against Derby... Of course we should have started on the front foot.

But what happens against better opposition? Does that mean we instantly have to take a step back? That we can't or shouldn't be as positive?

The concept of what LVG wants to employ is very simple. It's what Barca, Bayern, Liverpool and Dortmund (under Klopp) and Arsenal have done for years. Press high, win the ball high and then the opposition is out of position. But we don't all press together and when we don't win the ball high we are far too predictable and slow. And against better opposition they then soak up that pressure and hit us on the break.
 
Manchester United 3 - 0 Stoke - 2nd February 2016

Different side completely. We played almost counter attacking, at least counter punching, allowing Stoke to have the ball towards the half way line, then pressing to win it back and launch an attack.. Fantastic to watch, feels even better after the crap we've been used to and almost immune to.

47% possession leading to 15 shots, 5 on target.
 
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