Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal admits he is worried about his team’s goalless run, with the 0-0 draw against Crystal Palace being the third consecutive game that has ended in a stalemate for the Red Devils.
United had not played out three consecutive goalless draws since 2005, but they have now failed to score in over five hours of football. It comes as no surprise that the Red Devils’ boss is worried about the barren run, and Louis van Gaal must discover his players’ best positions to improve the efficiency of the team’s tame attack.
Players lacking in confidence?
It was another predictable performance from Manchester United as they clearly lacked the cutting edge in front of goal. However, despite failing to score in three games in a row, Van Gaal suggests the players are not low on confidence.
“There’s a big concern but I already said that after the match against Middlesbrough,” Van Gaal told BBC.
“[In that match] we created many chances but did not finish.
“[Today] we didn’t create so many chances so it’s more difficult. When you don’t keep the ball you can’t create chances.”
“I cannot see that (low confidence),” he added. “When I see the characters I don’t think they doubt about that quality. It can change in one match and let it be against CSKA Moscow (in the Champions League at Old Trafford on Tuesday), because we need a victory.”
On Martial’s position
Van Gaal has deployed Anthony Martial on the left wing, and in the number nine role, but it looks like he hasn’t discovered his best position yet.
“As a manager I have to see what is the best balance in the team,” added Van Gaal on the way he set up his attack. “So I have to decide also every week depending on the game plan and qualities of the opponent.
“We have played with him (Martial) in the striker’s position, but that was not the first time for him (on the left). In Monaco he played more or less always on the left wing.
“You can never tell as a coach that it was the right balance when you are not having the control of the game and I want to always control the game.”
United need clarity in attack
Anthony Martial provided the spark this season that Wayne Rooney has been lacking, and Van Gaal needs to find out their most effective positions. Perhaps with Rooney out of form, Van Gaal could give Martial a chance in the middle on his own, with Mata playing in the hole.
Setting up his attacking options and having clarity about his players’ roles should be of paramount to the United boss to get his side playing the free-scoring football they played in parts of the second half of the 2014-2015 campaign.