No knee-jerk reaction: Defeat against Swansea won’t force United’s hand in transfers, claims van Gaal

Dutchman rules out signing players on panic-buys after first defeat of the season.


Afp August 31, 2015
Swansea’s ruthless attack exposed the weaknesses in United’s makeshift backline. PHOTO: AFP

SWANSEA: Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal said that he would not jump into the transfer market to solve his side’s goal-scoring problems following their 2-1 defeat at Swansea City.

Juan Mata gave United the lead in the 48th minute at the Liberty Stadium on Sunday, but after Swansea manager Garry Monk altered his midfield formation to a diamond, the hosts struck twice in five minutes.

Andre Ayew equalised in the 61st minute with a smart downward header that beat Sergio Romero and then produced a fine pass for Bafetimbi Gomis to beat Romero at the near post for the winner.

Ashley Williams’s last-ditch tackle denied Wayne Rooney a late equaliser in injury time, ending United’s unbeaten record and leaving van Gaal’s side with a return of just three goals from four league games.

Asked if he would look to bolster his squad with extra attacking power before Tuesday’s transfer deadline, van Gaal ruled out any knee-jerk signings. “You can never speak as a club like United that you are satisfied. [But] certainly we shall not sign a player that we have not scouted before,” he said. “We know in offence what is happening or not happening. It is not an issue.”

One issue still dogging van Gaal, however, concerns goalkeeper David de Gea. Van Gaal has dropped de Gea following months of speculation linking the Spaniard with a move to Real Madrid, but the manager said that he was happy to take a back seat in the club’s transfer dealings.

“We will have to wait and see,” he said. “I don’t want to interfere. As a club, we have divided our tasks and the task is for [executive vice-chairman] Ed Woodward and not me.”

The Dutchman was left disappointed after defeat against Swansea in his 50th game in charge means Monk’s side have gotten the better of him in all three meetings. The Welsh side did the league double last year, winning both games 2-1, including van Gaal’s first game in charge. “It is a feeling of frustration, but more [of] disappointment,” said the United manager. “For 85 minutes we were the dominant side. However, we have lost the game in five minutes. And we lost because they changed the shape.”

Van Gaal was in no mood to point the finger of blame at individuals and dismissed suggestions Romero had been partly at fault for both goals. “In the end, the pressure for the last defender or the goalkeeper is always higher than it is further up the pitch,” he said. “But I don’t agree that the goalkeeper was not so good today.”

Swansea manager Garry Monk, meanwhile, is also in no rush to add anyone to his squad, following an impressive win that left his side in fourth place. “I’m very happy,” said the former Swansea centre-back. “I felt we should make a tactical change in the second half and I thought that allowed us to get back into the game. It was the right thing to do and it made us more of a threat.” 

Published in The Express Tribune, September 1st,  2015.

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