Former Manchester United forward Joe Jordan has defended new manager Louis Van Gaal’s tactics, reports the Mirror.
The Dutchman came in for criticism from West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce, reported by the Guardian, who said that his side couldn’t cope with “long ball” United.
That came after Van Gaal sent on Marouane Fellaini as an auxiliary forward who his side could aim long balls towards, with the move paying dividends as it led to United’s late equaliser from Daley Blind.
The team also used a similar tactic against Cambridge United in the FA Cup, and it proved successful on that occasion as well. Now, Jordan has said that there is nothing wrong with Van Gaal using those type of tactics if it rescues games from losing positions.
“I don't see anything wrong in Louis van Gaal using Fellaini's height as an asset to change the course of a game,” Jordan said.
"The best coaches are those who can get the best out of what they have got. Some of the best tacticians are those who can identify ways to make a difference by using players off the bench to change nature of a game.”
However, the former forward, who left QPR’s coaching team last week following the resignation of Harry Redknapp, didn’t go as far as to label United a long-ball team as Allardyce said.
Instead, he says that it is simply intelligence from the Dutch manager as he analyses the situation and recognises the difference a substitution could make, citing Mark Hughes’ introduction of Peter Crouch against Newcastle as another example of that kind of change.
"But the beauty of football is often in finding a different way to score, and to win, when your original game plan is thwarted,” added Jordan.
“Far from being simplistic, you have to be intelligent to recognise the difference a substitution can make. Van Gaal threw on Fellaini and it helped United to earn a point, just as Mark Hughes threw on Peter Crouch for Stoke and they got a point in the last minute at Newcastle.”