Louis van Gaal explains Paddy McNair and Jesse Lingard substitutions

by Leo Nieboer

Louis van Gaal has refused to blame Manchester United’s injury crisis in the wake of their 2-1 against Bournemouth.

Chris Smalling, Matteo Darmian, Antonio Valencia, Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo, Wayne Rooney and Ander Herrera were all notable absentees prior to the contest.

United’s injury woes meant van Gaal was forced to field a side with a young side but the Dutchman insisted that his side’s defeat wasn’t due to a growing injury list.

Paddy McNair had cramp, he didn’t play so much this season and with Jesse Lingard it is a second time in a short time so we will have to see,” he said after the game.

“I don’t think it is because of that [injuries] we lost.”

United’s ability to amass such a high list of casualties is nothing short of astonishing and it led to a jittery display against Bournemouth, which lacked any form of conviction or leadership.

However, while United’s defence was decidedly inexperienced, their attack was largely unaltered by injuries, and should’ve easily picked apart Bournemouth’s back four far more than it did.

And even though injuries played a part, United’s woeful defeat was largely down to van Gaal’s tactical ineptitude and a general lack of belief and spirit amongst the players.

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