Manchester United’s season took yet another turn for the worse as they fell to defeat at the Stadium of Light, after a pretty bland performance.
Van Gaal’s men did manage to find the net, but it wasn’t enough when their defence could not hold strong against the set piece prowess of an Allardyce side. LvG can give all the excuses he wants in each press conference, but a performance like this will only draw more criticism and his sides seem incapable of scoring and keeping a clean sheet in the same game.
For a club associated with such flair and attacking intent, that is the bare minimum, let alone the prospect of finishing in the Europa League places.
The Red Devils are left to wonder what might have been and they will be looking down towards West Ham and the rest rather than pushing to join in the title battle above them. It is surely a matter of time before big changes come at Old Trafford…
Here are FIVE things we learned from today’s game..
Not only did he miss out on a big pay cheque when his move to Spain fell through, the Spaniard missed out on playing in a side with real quality. De Gea, for all his brilliance, will still face great criticism when he is protected so poorly and was left helpless by poor defending for the first goal.
It is surely a matter of time before De Gea pushes to leave Old Trafford and its hard to see why he would do anything else.
United are now 6 points off the top four, having played a game more than the title challengers. Van Gaal has, by all metrics, failed in the bare minimum requirement for the club this season and he must surely see that his time is coming to an end at the club.
Only one man can take United back to the level of competing with Manchester City, Jose Mourinho.
Allardyce is a master of creating a solid defence and, although this hasn’t happened quite yet at Sunderland, the former West Ham boss is one of the best at restoring belief and confidence into a struggling side.
Big Sam proved today that he has still got the motivational skills to keep his side in the big time.
BT’s monopolization of the Saturday lunchtime kick-off has had us enduring some pretty tedious commentary, and it was back to its worse again. Trevor Francis and Michael Owen added no value throughout the game and focused solely on pointing out the obvious.
For those of you lucky enough to find some other commentary option, we envy you.
Even for a game against one of the weakest sides in the league, Van Gaal opted for two defensive midfield players and it looks as though Herrera will be on his way this summer. The Spanish central midfield player would have given creativity from deep that could have changed the approach of United, whilst a Schneiderlin-Carrick pairing seemed so short of ideas.
If the Dutch manager can’t fit an extra creator into the XI in a must-win game at Sunderland, when can he?