Former Manchester United defender Phil Neville has revealed that Louis Van Gaal’s decision of subbing Ander Hererra at half time cost his side against Arsenal yesterday in the FA Cup quarter-final.
Van Gaal decided to take off the Spaniard for Micheal Carrick at half time, but the English midfielder had minimal impact on the game. Neville said, “It’s a massive, massive last two months of the season for them. The results have been OK, but the performances have got to improve. Manchester United lost the tie in midfield. The half-time substitution of Ander Herrera I thought was a poor call.”
He went on to add that the loss will mean United will have to give it all for that fourth place finish but it will be tough as they still have to face some big teams,
“Momentum works both ways and now United can’t win silverware, all they’ve got left to concentrate on for the rest of the season is a top-four finish.
“There’s a tricky period for them when they still have to play Chelsea, Manchester City and Everton.”
If the red devils don’t qualify for the Champions League, then it’ll be the second season running where they will have missed out on the elite competition. Another former player, Roy Keane, feels that the United hierarchy should persist with Van Gaal and give him time unlike last season when they sacked David Moyes within a year after hiring him, “A lot of fans don’t quite understand how to run a football club as big as Manchester United,” said Keane.
“They should have given David Moyes more time but didn’t. What are they going to do? Chop and change again?
“Van Gaal has been in the door two minutes. It takes time. It’s literally a rebuilding job.
“It would be a disaster [if United don’t finish in top four]. The big problem with people at the club and ex-players is they keep looking back comparing teams from 10 years ago. They have got to look forward.
“Focus on the players, focus on the manager… get right behind him. I still think they have enough to get in that top four.”
Manchester United next face Tottenham at home who are just three points behind and the clash will start a run of games that could well decide their season. With games against Tottenham and Liverpool coming up, United and Van Gaal cannot afford to take wrong decisions like they did against Arsenal yesterday.