Louis van Gaal admits the two weeks since the drubbing at Arsenal have been “awful” and has warned his Manchester United players that he won’t tolerate a repeat.
United were blown away by the Gunners, who opened up a 3-0 lead in the opening 20 minutes at the Emirates, as United struggled to cope with the pace and passing of their title rivals.
Van Gaal has been stewing over the performance during the international break and ahead of Saturday’s trip to Everton, the manager has told his players that the embarrassment must be a one-off.
“It is awful when you have such a result,” Van Gaal said. “It has been an awful two weeks.
“Before the last international break in September we lost against Swansea. These are awful weeks.
“You are constantly thinking about how it happened. You cannot manage it with your players. That is what you have to do as a manager.
“But all the players are flying out, especially the last game because we played on a Sunday. They fly out direct after the match.”
Van Gaal and his staff have been poring over the details of the defeat since the players returned from international duty.
“I have to speak (to them) about the Arsenal game because you have to analyse,” he said.
“You have to learn from it and improve. I have to evaluate myself how I have prepared this game with my players.”
Van Gaal highlighted United’s failure to hang on to the ball, and their slow start as the reasons for failure at the Emirates.
“There are a lot of differences but the most big difference was the start of the game,” he said.
“Arsenal had an accuracy of passes – 96 per cent. Normally Manchester United have that. We have 68 per cent. Our average is 85 per cent or higher, I believe.
“That is a big difference. After a quarter it was that we have already 90 per cent. But by then it is already 3-0 and we have lost the game. We have spoken about that. It cannot happen again.
“We are always evaluating ourselves and we cannot accept that.
“We want to be the champion, then you have to behave like a champion. Also to improve yourself, to be, in the future, the champion. You have to improve every time.”
United have only won twice in their last eight visits to Goodison Park, but Van Gaal is hoping to return to winning ways this weekend.
“Of course I am confident because I have seen the training sessions. I have seen the reaction of my players, so I am confident,” he said.
Louis van Gaal is determined for #mufc to bounce back from the defeat at Arsenal: “We’ve spoken about this. It cannot happen again.”
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) October 16, 2015
The manager revealed that Wayne Rooney and Michael Carrick are both fit for the trip to Goodison Park, but Ashley Young misses out through injury. Ander Herrera and Marcos Rojo are available but the manager doubts either will be able to manage 90 minutes.
Van Gaal also praised Anthony Martial after the United new boy was named the Premier League Player of the Month for September. But the manager also tried to cool the fans’ expectations of the young striker.
“I’m very pleased he’s started so well,” said Van Gaal. “It’s also good because most of the fans didn’t know him – now they know him and also a little bit about his qualities and talent.
“Still, we have to be patient with him. He is still 19 years old and he cannot do that every match. That is also a characteristic of a young player.”