Louis van Gaal: Manchester United must play quicker

by Ben Topliss

Louis van Gaal believes Manchester United must pass the ball quicker if they are to turn their possession into goals.

Man United have employed an increasingly predictable style of play in recent weeks, with the team intent on keeping the ball.

The likes of Angel di Maria and Wayne Rooney often choose to pass it back in order to keep possession rather than try something to beat their opponent. It has been a frustrating aspect of United’s play for the club’s supporters but van Gaal said the team aren’t executing the tactic properly.

Instead, van Gaal wants his players to stretch opponents by playing the ball much more quickly around the pitch.

Speaking about how he plans to turn United’s possession into goals, van Gaal said: “Its the tempo of the ball. The ball speed has to be high because we always play defensive teams.

“We need more high speed passes. Now we have a lot of unnecessary losses because we try too hard to do that. We need to be more careful with our passing but also play at a high speed.”

A number of teams seem to have figured out the tactic, and employ a high-pressing game in order to counter it.

Against Burnley earlier this month, Sean Dyche’s men harried United and players such as Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans regularly lost the ball. Luckily for United, the Clarets tired and they were able to seal a 3-1 victory. Van Gaal’s side will need to play much better if they are to qualify for this season’s Champions League.

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