Louis van Gaal was in good form while addressing the press in his pre-match Burnley press conference - that was until he started handing out, what looked to be, a powerpoint presentation slide on long ball percentages played against West Ham.
The former Dutch national coach obviously took exception to comments made by Sam Allardyce after the match on Sunday afternoon, where the former Bolton boss dubbed the 20-time Premier League champions ‘’long-ball United’’.
‘’You might criticise Louis van Gaal for playing long balls as much as I am sometimes criticised for being direct,’’ Allardyce was quoted as saying in the Guardian. ‘’In the end it’s paid off for them’’
‘’We had many opportunities and I think it was a great shame we conceded that game as late as we did, which wasn’t the normal goal you concede against Manchester United – just a punt up the middle.’’
The reaction from Karen Shotbolt over the ‘dossier’ was echoed by a huge number of United fans that all agreed that it was something that didn’t need addressing. In fact, it’s was slightly ironic and Allardyce knows this. It may well have been a simple tongue in cheek comment from the former Newcastle boss.
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Interestingly enough, the comments were only made when the balls into the box worked. If West Ham had defended and cleared their lines better then the argument wouldn’t have been brought up.
The fact of the matter is that Louis van Gaal used his squad in order to get a result on the day. It’s his primary job as the manager to get results by any means necessary.
If it was Plan A to go direct then it would be a cause for concern as it could isolate the talented players in the team who would struggle in such a system, but it’s not.
The credit should have gone to Van Gaal for seeing a Plan B and implementing it perfectly in order to get a result.