Manchester United players ‘amazed’ by baffling Juan Mata substitution by Louis van Gaal – report

by Sam Peoples

Juan Mata being replaced by Nick Powell on Tuesday confused Manchester United fans and it looks like they weren’t the only ones who were bemused.

The Times’ James Ducker reports that Man United’s players were left ‘amazed’ by the decision to take off Mata, who had set-up Anthony Martial‘s goal and was looking a real threat in the No.10 role.

Van Gaal’s made plenty of baffling substitutions, or lack thereof, during his career so far at United but in the context of the game’s magnitude, this one has really taken a lot of people by surprise.

As for the players being frustrated at it, that’s got to be a worrying concept for van Gaal. The one thing which sealed David Moyes’ fate at Man United was when he lost the dressing room. Without that control, his downfall was inevitable.

While there is no indication van Gaal has lost that at the moment, murmurings and cracks are starting to appear and those cracks will only widen if United continue to play the way we are.

Wayne Rooney and Michael Carrick have already talked to van Gaal this season representing the squad in voicing concerns about the overall style of play, so hearing that there may be more murmurings going on behind the scenes isn’t healthy at all.

If ever a win was needed for United to cool the fires on van Gaal, right now is it.

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