Tuesday 23 January 2018

Furious Van Gaal slams United players for their lack of motivation and desire

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal said he could tell his team was not up for the fight against Everton from their relaxed attitude in the warm-up
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal said he could tell his team was not up for the fight against Everton from their relaxed attitude in the warm-up

Chris Bascombe

Louis Van Gaal accused his players of lacking motivation and desire after they slumped to their heaviest league defeat since he took over as manager.

United slumped to their third consecutive defeat at Goodison Park, with Van Gaal admitting that it was the most disappointing performance of his reign as United manager.

The Dutchman said that he feared his players were in the wrong frame of mind during their pre-match warm-up and that they had now given a glimmer of hope to their rivals for a Champions League position.

Asked if it was the worst display of his debut season at Old Trafford, Van Gaal said: "I think so because it is the first time I saw that our motivation, inspiration and aggression was not as high as the opponent.


"In sport you will always be compared to your opponent and that was the reason I had the feeling, and my colleague Ryan Giggs had the feeling, that the warm-up was not as good as usual.

"Before the game you can try to stimulate your players, but then it is too late. You prepare the match two or three days before and Everton have done that and they won because of that.

"This can happen once. Because I have mentioned it to the players, they shall use my words and they shall think and communicate with each other and I hope it won't happen again.

" You cannot analyse what were the reasons for it; you can just notice it and learn from it, because Everton were highly motivated.

"We are playing so well the last six or seven games that players think it will come, but you need the inspiration and motivation and aggression to win the second balls and to fight until the end.

"Many times I have said they have fought until the end.

"We were playing well in phases, but when you have a lot of time on the ball you can lose it easily and need to be sharper in the duels.

"We lost three duels in a row in the first goal. We created a lot of chances - five I think - but never scored. The shots on goal were without conviction. That is not good.

"I have said to the players you have given the light to the opponents."

United will need to assess a knee injury to Wayne Rooney, who was substituted just before full-time.

It was also an unhappy return to Merseyside for Marouane Fellaini, who was replaced after 45 minutes.

"The first reason [for replacing Fellaini] was he was booked and I foundthat the players at Everton were provoking him," Van Gaal said. "I was not sure he would end the match. Also, because of the result at half-time I took him off, but I could have changed more players."

Delighted Everton manager Roberto Martinez claimed that John Stones, who headed Everton's second goal, and Ross Barkley gave their best displays for the club.

Martinez said: "Today it is unfair to highlight one player, because I could not see a fault, but John deserves his moment because it's his first goal for Everton and his defensive display was his best since he came into the first team. To have that composure as a 20-year-old - he was magnificent.

"Ross also had his most complete performance for Everton, but this was a proper team performance.

"We gave a lot of respect to Manchester United. They have been very strong and if you are not organised defensively they can hurt you.

"We showed great concentration and organisation. We were magnificent on the counter-attack.

"We were the better side in every department. It was not just about motivation. Every-thing we did was better." © Daily Telegraph, London.


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