Louis van Gaal has explained that the failed Euro 2016 campaign from Netherlands was part of the reason why he left Memphis Depay and Daley Blind out of his Manchester United team to face Everton at the weekend.
Memphis and Blind had been regular starters for Man United up until the Everton game and it was a decision which was more than vindicated by the 3-0 win at Goodison Park.
After the disappointment of missing out on a place in Euro 2016, van Gaal clearly felt Memphis and Blind weren’t in the right mental state for the game.
Speaking about his team choice, van Gaal said: “[My selection] is dependable on the game plan, it is dependable on the qualities of the opponents, which players I want to select for the lineup and also dependable on the defeat of the Dutch team.”
Regardless of the Netherlands result, Memphis really needed a rest and it was good to see him finally get that. He’s been playing pretty much every game so far but is struggling to adapt to the Premier League, so taking him away from the limelight after the Arsenal loss will have helped.
As for Blind, that’s a more complicated scenario because his partnership with Chris Smalling has been one of United’s main positives this season. However, Phil Jones‘ assured performance with Smalling now gives van Gaal a viable alternative, so it’ll be interesting to see whether he will come straight back into the team.
Man-management is an important part of football for any manager and taking the spotlight away from them hopefully helped to get their focus back ahead of what is a very tough week for United with a game away to CSKA Moscow before Manchester City visit Old Trafford for the first derby of the season.