Following two draws in a row, Manchester United fans have been losing the plot on social media, claiming that our football is worse now than it was under Louis van Gaal.

While the Dutchman had his strengths and a clear vision for how he wanted the game to be played, as well as picking up good results in plenty of the big games, his ‘philosophy’ meant the football we had to watch was as dull as it came.

We’d dominate possession most weeks yet only create a handful of chances. Maybe that’s what made it more frustrating for me. There was the potential for us to do so much more than we were doing but Van Gaal’s cautious approach meant we barely got in to the opposition’s penalty box.

There were plenty of games you could point to but a few that stand out: losing at home to Southampton, with 61% possession, with not a single shot on target. Or when we drew with Stoke, with 66% possession, and just two shots on target. Or when we drew 0-0 at home with West Ham with 61% possession and one shot on target. The worst of the bunch was arguably the home defeat against Norwich with 69% possession and two shots on target.

Van Gaal started his second season well, in terms of results at least, but towards the end of November it all started to go wrong for him.

In his final 25 Premier League games in charge of United, we had 10 shots on target in just one game. We had more than five shots on target in five games. We had 92 shots on target in 25 games, so on average, 3.7 per game.

Under Mourinho this season, from 14 games played, we’ve had 10 shots on target twice. We’ve had more than five shots on target in seven games. In total, we’ve had 82 shots on target, so an average of 5.9 per game.

When you consider how much Jurgen Klopp and Mauricio Pochettino are praised for their attacking football, it’s interesting to note they’ve scored just five and three goals, respectively, more than United. When you consider they have last season’s top two Premier League goalscorers leading their line, while our striker has totally bottled it this season, it’s clear to see that what we are doing going forward is not what is causing us our biggest problems.

What we are witnessing right now isn’t good enough and comparisons with Van Gaal won’t be enough to save Mourinho’s job if we carry on playing the way we are and picking up the same sort of results. But I can only presume that the people claiming this is the worst football we’ve seen post-Fergie slept through too many of Van Gaal’s games to remember just how bad it got.

Van Gaal: November 2015 – May 2016
vs Leicester. 2 shots on target.  1-1. D.
vs West Ham. 1 shot on target. 0-0. D.
vs Bournemouth. 5 shots on target. 2-1. L.
vs Norwich. 2 shots on target. 1-2. L.
vs Stoke. 5 shots on target. 2-0. L.
vs Chelsea. 2 shots on target. 0-0. D.
vs Swansea. 6 shots on target. 2-1. W.
vs Newcastle. 4 shots on target. 3-3. D.
vs Liverpool. 1 shot on target. 1-0. W.
vs Southampton. 1 shot on target. 0-1. L.
vs Stoke. 5 shots on target. 3-0. W.
vs Chelsea. 7 shots on target. 1-1. D. 41
vs Sunderland. 6 shots on target. 2-1. L.
vs Arsenal. 5 shots on target. 3-2. W.
vs Watford. 3 shots on target. 1-0. W.
vs West Brom. 1 shot on target. 1-0. L.
vs Man City. 4 shots on target. 1-0. W.
vs Everton. 2 shots on target. 1-0. W.
vs Spurs. 1 shot on target. 3-0. L.
vs Villa. 4 shots on target. 1-0. W.
vs Palace. 10 shots on target. 2-0. W. 77.
vs Leicester. 6 shots on target. 1-1. D.
vs Norwich. 2 shots on target. 1-0. W.
vs West Ham. 2 shots on target. 3-2. L.
vs Bournemouth. 5 shots on target. 3-1. W.

Mourinho: August 2018 – Dec 1st 2018
vs Leicester. 6 shots on target. 2-1. W.
vs Brighton. 3 shots on target. 3-2. L.
vs Spurs. 5 shots on target. 3-0. L.
vs Burnley. 9 shots on target. 2-0. W.
vs Watford. 6 shots on target. 2-1. W.
vs Wolves. 6 shots on target. 1-1. D.
vs West Ham. 4 shots on target. 3-1. L.
vs Newcastle. 10 shots on target. 3-2. W.
vs Chelsea. 4 shots on target. 2-2. D.
vs Everton. 10 shots on target. 2-1. W.
vs Bournemouth. 8 shots on target. 1-2. W.
vs City. 1 shot on target. 3-1. L.
vs Palace. 5 shots on target. 0-0. D.
vs Southampton. 5 shots on target. 2-2. D.




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