As Manchester United completed a run of 6 games in 18 days with victory over Wolfsburg, Uniteds’ Dutch manager was left to bemoan the fixture pile up and as reported he claimed “A lot of players are very tired because of the accumulation of a lot of matches.”
It is an interesting time for the United manager to make the statement, as United have 3 very important and testing fixtures coming up, starting with a trip to the Emirates on Sunday, to play an Arsenal side that suffered defeat for the second time in Europe this season, and will be hoping to bounce back with a more convincing performance against the league leaders. This will be followed by a trip to Goodison before the noisy neighbours visit Old Trafford towards the end of the month.
Skeptics will argue Van Gaal has started the mind games early, however United did look laboured in their performance at times last night, and they gave the ball away far to often for a Van Gaal side that has been built to out-pass the opposition.
United will want to build on the fantastic start they have had to the season and a more telling stat is that of Juan Mata who has either scored or assisted 45% of Uniteds goals this season. This has again provided evidence that Mata is the most valuable player in the United team at present, despite struggling to make an impact when he was first signed.
Important win for MUFC against a decent side. Juan Mata has scored or assisted 45% of all MUFC goals this season.
— Andy Mitten (@AndyMitten) September 30, 2015
Van Gaal’s comments after the game however when he said, he had seen Mata perform better was slightly perplexing considering he scored the penalty and got the vital assist for the winning goal.
As the season moves into the next phase pundits and fans will be looking at United closely to see if they can build upon the start they have made or will they falter?