Thursday 23 March 2017

Manchester United in crisis? Players 'confront Louis van Gaal' about his rigid training regime

Louis van Gaal
Louis van Gaal
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

A delegation of senior Manchester United players has confronted Louis van Gaal over his training methods, according to a report in The Times.

After only scoring three goals in their first four league games United players have apparently grown increasingly concerned at the side's inflexible style of play.

And following discussions inside the dressing room, a delegation approached Van Gaal to raise concerns about his rigid approach.

The players reportedly feel that training has become so regimented that it is actually hampering performances.

The confontation, which took place several weeks ago, did not prompt any immediate changes in United's approach, but it is hoped the £36m signing of Anthony Martial from Monaco will give the team more of a cutting edge.

Much of the players' frustration though centres on the considerable amount of money United have spent on signings, with so far only limited results.

After a £150million splurge in the summer of 2014, a stuttering United only finished fourth in the Premier League last season in a campaign littered with stodgy performances.

They've scarcely looked much more coherent this time around - despite spending £104.5m in pre-season on the likes of Memphis Depay and Bastian Schweinsteiger.

Van Gaal of course will argue that four league games into the season is hardly the time to be judging his team, but the mixed start undoubtedly adds to the pressure of Saturday's home match against Liverpool.

Brendan Rodgers' team arrive at Old Trafford joint with United on seven points, and with similar problems going forward.

Van Gaal is expected to give Martial his debut, possibly from the start.

Meanwhile, Louis van Gaal has conceded that Manchester United will not win the Premier League this season, just four matches into the campaign.

Van Gaal made the claim at a fan event at United's Old Trafford cricket ground on Wednesday night, in which he claimed that the club would finish third or second this season.

United are currently in fifth place, five points off leaders Manchester City.

Van Gaal was asked what where he thought United would finish, and he gave his prediction, although he did add that his club would compete in all of the cup competitions.

Van Gaal's United contract expires at the end of the 2016/17 season, and he has previously said that he will retire then.

The Dutchman also confirmed at the event that assistant Ryan Giggs will be his successor at United when he calls it a day.

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