Former Arsenal forward Thierry Henry wants Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal to allow players to express themselves more.
Man United crashed out of the Champions League after suffering a 3-2 defeat to Wolfsburg in Germany and also failed to win against newly-promoted Bournemouth on Saturday, so problems are continuing to pile up.
Speaking about United’s issues, Henry feels the rigid nature of van Gaal’s tactics are part of the problem and believes it is a contributing factor at the moment.
“It seems like the players aren’t enjoying it,” Henry told Sky Sports. “There is no fun there.
“It is too rigid and it is very predictable. You have to let the players express themselves in the final third. It seems like they’re not allowed to fly at times.
“We saw it with Angel di Maria. He was great when he first arrived but he had to do some stuff that he wasn’t used to doing.”
I couldn’t agree with Henry more. There is a collective responsibility for our problems right now that the manager and players both have to share and in terms of van Gaal, his strict style of play is constricting our fluidity.
Players don’t seem to want to take on an opponent on because they almost seem too scared to lose the ball and that’s forcing us to play predictable football, sometimes (now more often than not) stagnant sideways football.
Will things change? You’d like to think van Gaal intends to adapt if he needs to and our performances suggest that something does need to change but he’s a stubborn man, and there’s an underlying concern that he’d rather stick to his own guns than admit he’s wrong which could drag us further down.