Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal has admitted his frustrations with his team after they slumped to a 3-0 defeat to Arsenal.
The Gunners took an early lead and capitalised another 2 times before the 20 minute mark, prompting Van Gaal to blast his team for giving the north London club too much space. The Dutchman called out his midfield for the lack of effort and aggression – which led to Arsenal’s goals.
“I didn’t expect that,” Van Gaal said. “I was surprised – not performing to our gameplan, not the will to win. I have not seen that, when you are top of the league [as United were at the beginning of the weekend]. So I was surprised, amazed – maybe that is a better word.”
“When you give a team like Arsenal so much space to play football, then you know you will lose. We prepared ourselves to play more compact and not losing our aggression, so it was amazing for me. I am very disappointed.”
“I don’t know why it happened,” Van Gaal said. “I put the question at half-time and after the match. It is difficult for the players to answer at the moment, because they are all in an emotional moment. We have lost, and lost in a way that you cannot lose when you are top of the league.”
“The problems did not start at the back, they started in midfield. Their midfield players, especially Cazorla and Özil, had too much time and space. We also had space behind our defence. When you always put the pressure on, they cannot make their passes so easily. That was our problem in the first half. They were not aggressive. And you have to do it not only with the two in midfield but as a team. You have to be more compact. You need aggression at the moment you have a duel and Arsenal were much more aggressive.”
[Quotes via the Guardian]