The Red Devils produced a poor performance during the game and struggled to create any meaningful chances. Cheikhou Kouyate put the Hammers in front and it looked like they might seal the win but Daley Blind scored late on to spare United’s blushes.
It was frustrating to watch for United fans given the attacking talent on the pitch. The result left van Gaal wondering whether he needs more physical players in the side in order to grind out results.
Speaking about his team selection, van Gaal said: ”Adnan [Januzaj] and [Angel] Di Maria are creative players. You can’t always win with them. [Perhaps] I will have to line up with players like Marouane Fellaini.”
It certainly looks like the best United XI on paper doesn’t necessarily give them the best team. Against more physical opponents such as West Ham, players like Fellaini will give some much needed grit and steel in midfield.
The policy may not produce the best football but United cannot afford to keep slipping up as they bid to qualify for Champions League football next season. Being more physical will provide a good plan B for United, although fans will hope it doesn’t become the norm.