Tick-tock, tick-tock, one down two to go. If this is the pivotal week in LVG’s Old Trafford career it began with the coziest win over the League One strugglers. Shrewsbury were never in it. A very professional performance from United capped by the third goal from Lingard. Mata’s free kick was wonderful but I tend to agree with those who claimed the three players running back were offside. Nice trick though, and brilliant finish. The only problem is that yet again there were injuries. If there is a summer spending spree United should buy 6 full backs. Borthwick-Jackson is presumably out against Midtjylland on Thursday. Lingard didn’t look comfortable at the end, and the desperately unlucky Keane may be gone for weeks.
If there was a silver lining it was the team performance. Whoever is leaking stories about the senior players being unhappy with Van Gaal can’t be talking about Mata, Smalling, Blind, Martial or Schneiderlin. All played as if they meant it, and for me there was no indication of a team trying to get the manager the sack.
Now there needs to be a magic sponge. Thursday is a huge game, but Midtjylland don’t play in front of 75,000 very often and if it’s one of those magical Old Trafford nights and the crowd carry the team the Danes will get a battering. I’m not worried about Thursday, but Sunday and Arsenal is different. United need De Gea back, Rojo would be a bonus, Jones would help, but that’s about all to hope for.
Van Gaal says March is looking better:
“I think in March a lot of players are coming back and then we’ll have a full selection, and with our full selection we were first in the Premier League.”
Give the man his due, he doesn’t lay down.
Now for some speculation. If by any chance United win the next two matches what happens to all the hand wringing, vindictiveness, poison, slander, lies and general bonkersness about Van Gaal? He’s a football magician if he gets out of this week. An FA Cup tie, a Europa League salvage job, and a must win against the League favorites? All in 7 days? C’mon people, we know Woodward and the Glazers are ultimately responsible for this mess. It would be something special for Van Gaal to be celebrating 3 wins on the trot on Sunday night.