Louis Van Gaal said he was “not shocked” by United’s abysmal capitulation against MK Dons in the Capital One Cup last night, as his team slumped to one of their most embarrassing defeats in over a decade.
Experimental though the line-up might have been with a few youngsters making their first team debut, United were still able to call upon David De Gea, Jonny Evans, Javier Hernandez, Danny Welbeck and, albeit briefly, Shinji Kagawa, but did not spare them the blushes of being thrashed by a League One side.
After the game, Van Gaal said the defeat didn’t surprise him, a sign, perhaps, of how little faith he has in some of his players.
“Of course I’m disappointed, but I can analyse this,” the United manager said. “I am not shocked because I know what can happen, and I think also that Milton Keynes played very well, very aggressively, and they had also a little bit of luck.”
Van Gaal insisted United fans, who he described as “magnificent”, have to be patient and give him time.
“It’s very difficult when you start as manager in the Premier League with a home match loss [to Swansea] and after that a draw [with Sunderland] and then lose a cup match, then for the fans it is very difficult to believe, still believe, in the philosophy of Louis van Gaal,” said the Dutchman.
“But you have to do that, you have to do that, because I am here to build a new team, and a new team is not built in one month.”
Van Gaal was asked if the arrival of Angel Di Maria for a British record fee would see him ditching his 3-5-2 system for a different formation, but the United manager said he was still in the process of analysing the options at his disposal.
“We have to see in the process, that’s what I’m saying. You cannot [click your fingers] and switch to a new system and then it’s working, you have to train it and it’s a matter of time, the process needs time, so we shall see if with Di María we have to change the system or not,” he said.
“I have bought Di María because he can play inside or wide, which is very handy for a coach. When I was coach of Bayern Munich I bought on the 28th August Arjen Robben, and he could also play at the wings or inside, and then I have always the opportunity to change. But that is the process.
“Di María is coming and he will also have to adapt to our culture, our philosophy, he cannot change at the snap of fingers, but he can contribute to the building of a team, every player can do that. Ángel is a world-class midfielder but most importantly he is a team player. There is no doubting his immense natural talent. He is a tremendously fast and incisive left-footed player who puts fear into the most accomplished defence. His dribbling skills and his ability to take on and beat opponents are a joy to watch. He is an excellent addition to the team.”
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