Is Manchester United’s injury crisis a blessing in disguise for LVG?
Posted by Featured Articles | Published on February 29, 2016
A lot has been made of Manchester United’s recent injury crisis and the amount that it has affected United’s season. While no doubt its been a huge hindrance to the season as a whole has it turned out to be a slight help to the man at the helm Louis Van Gaal. Due to the amount of youthfulness and inexperience currently in the side it’s forcing United to play an attacking style of football rather than the dull, monotonous brand of football that was disillusioning fans earlier on in the season. This youthful swagger brought about by the likes of Jesse Lingard and more recently 18 year old Marcus Rashford have gone a long way to improving the season as a whole for a struggling Manchester United side. The emergence of Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, Joe Riley and more recently Timothy Fosu Mensah as solid defensive options have gone a long way to increasing dynamism and enthusiasm amongst a previously slow and stubborn defensive unit on the pitch. It is in these players attributes and skill sets to attack and entertain which thankfully for fans breaks the mould of Van Gaal’s previous ‘philosophy’.
Louis Van Gaal has thus far given 27 different players their Manchester United debuts and this lack of fear in terms of experimenting with younger players is one of the few positives his work can bring at times. The injury crisis and negative impact it has brought in terms of lack of options and available players to pick from has also given Van Gaal an incredible amount of leeway in terms of how his job can be judged, as it is very hard to sack a man forced into repeatedly playing a weakened squad. As Van Gaal himself has said ‘I’m convinced by the power of youth because they can stimulate the other players and improve the atmosphere in the dressing room’ While the season as a whole has been disappointing for Manchester United you just get the feeling that this lack of fear and apprehension regarding experimenting with younger players and a sense of importance put on the under 21 teams bodes well for the future of Man United.
Of course, this freak run of injuries wasn’t by design but potentially this youthful fearlessness and confidence that the lads who’ve made their debut so far have shown could well turn out to be a huge blessing in disguise for the man who helped develop the likes of Andres Iniesta, Xavi and Thomas Muller among others. It’s given the team a new outlook, confidence and has also given Louis Van Gaal breathing space in terms of job security as he is now working with a paper thin squad. We must now wait and see if this enforced reliance on youth turns out to help Van Gaal and Manchester United for years to come.