Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has questioned the responsibility of players like Wayne Rooney, Angel Di Maria and Juan Mata by saying that the whole team did not help the defence in the game against Leicester City, as reported by BBC Sport.
Despite entering the 60th minute of the game 3-1 up against the recently promoted side, Man Utd conceded four goals without reply to slump to a 5-3 loss in a sensational clash.
Questions have been asked about the club’s defenders, and whether the club spent poorly in signing so many forward players during the summer transfer window, but Van Gaal had a different belief about why the result came about.
He said: “I think the spectators have seen a fantastic spectacle today and we started well and scored fantastic goals. In second half, we scored another goal but you have to win the game and we didn’t do that. We didn’t keep ball possession in the right way.
“We have too many players who want to seek for the goal. Leicester have already showed against Arsenal and Stoke that they can come back and they did it very well.
“For the first penalty it is always the referee [who you talk about] but you don’t have to do that as a player. You know you are in the penalty area and you allow the referee to whistle if you make a challenge, I don’t know if it is a penalty but we have to look at ourselves because we made such big errors as a team.
“I cannot say that I am happy. In the world of football, these matches happen. I was a coach at Barcelona in my first year and we were 3-0 ahead, with 15 minutes to play and we lost 3-4. It can happen, it is the world of football but it is not good because we have the game in our pocket and gave it away. Not because of Leicester, we gave it away and I don’t like that.
“You cannot say the defence was weak. You play like a team, Leicester showed that, we did not play like a team in the second half and that is not only defence. In a defensive situation the whole team is responsible, not just one defender.”
The comment was not without merit, with both Rooney and Mata being responsible for losing possession cheaply prior to Leicester’s goals.
However, with the Dutch manager having to turn to youth like Tyler Blackett to fill his defence, it can be asked whether an experienced defender might have been a better signing in the summer.