The change was a source of frustration for supporters as the imposing Fellaini might have offered more support to Anthony Martial up top.
Speaking about the substitution, van Gaal said: ”It is not because Fellaini can play in a striker position that we are better off as a team, I have to see how we can build up and at the time Fosu-Mensah was coming in we were not building up, we were only doing long balls, thats why I thought with him we could do better, Darmian played twice within four days and was injured, I had to take care of him.”
The substitutions summed up the Dutchman’s whole approach this season; slow, calculated build-up play. United, in previous years, might have thrown the kitchen sink at West Brom in order to secure a point or perhaps more. As it turned out, van Gaal’s philosophy has cost United more points this term.