Manchester United’s players are said to be “exasperated” over Louis van Gaal’s instructions of “not to shoot first-time”.
According to an exclusive in The Independent United’s beleaguered squad are said to be “increasingly fed up with ‘micro-manager’ Louis van Gaal’s odd tactics”, which include the emphasis on retaining possession, culminating in the bizarre outlawing of instant shooting.
Manchester United’s players fear being humiliated in evaluation sessions the next day if they shoot first time and miss, according to Mark Ogden.
Van Gaal wants players to offer at least two options in close proximity to a player in possession of the ball, while full-backs must overlap wide players whenever possible with the aim of wearing down the opposition.
The result is that United have scored just 33 goals – the lowest total in the top eight, while they have mustered just 302 shots of which only 99 have been on target – only eight teams have recorded fewer.
“You only have to look at the first goal of the season, when Kyle Walker’s own goal put United ahead against Tottenham,” one source is quoted by The Independent. “It came from a cross into the penalty area and Wayne Rooney would normally have just passed it into the net, but he took a touch, the ball got away from him and Walker knocked it into the net.
“The manager doesn’t mind if you shoot first time and score, but if you miss it will be highlighted the following day in an evaluation session.”