Manchester United v Wolves: Match in pictures
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Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney has explained where former head coach Louis van Gaal went wrong at Old Trafford. The Dutchman replaced David Moyes in the summer of 2014 but was sacked by United ahead of Jose Mourinho’s arrival in 2016.
Van Gaal had a mixed career at United. He joined with an excellent reputation having guided the Netherlands to third-place at the 2014 World Cup.
The Old Trafford outfit finished fourth in the Premier League during his first season in charge, although were 17 points off champions Chelsea.
In his second campaign, Van Gaal won the FA Cup – Rooney’s only winners’ medal in the competition – but his fifth-placed finish saw him dismissed.
Mourinho was appointed as his successor and went on to win a further two trophies, but United are now without silverware since the Portuguese guided them to the Europa League in 2017.
Now, Rooney, who played 78 games for Van Gaal, has revealed that his ex-boss was one of the best tactical coaches he played under but fell short due to his honesty.
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Discussing some of his former managers in an interview with The Athletic, Rooney said: “Fergie’s man-management was by the far the best. Of course, you need relationships with players, but you also need that authority.
“Tactically, (Louis) Van Gaal was very good, but he was too honest, if you like. He’d speak to an 18-year-old the same way you’d talk to a 35-year-old.
“It’s about getting that balance right and letting the young lads play without fear.”
United sacked Mourinho in December 2018 and are now on their sixth boss – permanent or caretaker – since Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure in 2013.
Ralf Rangnick has been appointed on a deal until the end of the season following the dismissal of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in November.
The former RB Leipzig tactician oversaw his first defeat as United were beaten 1-0 by Wolves on Monday.
Midfielder Joao Moutinho scored the only goal of the goal.
And Rangnick has a tough task on his hands if he is to build a platform for United to win their first piece of silverware since Mourinho’s tenure.
The Red Devils were disjointed against Wolves. They managed only two shots on target and one of those came in the final minute.
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Rangnick had previously been unbeaten but the performances were unconvincing.
His side stumbled to a 1-1 draw with relegation-threatened Newcastle on December 27. Prior to that, they had recorded successive 1-0 wins over Crystal Palace and Norwich.
Only in last week’s 3-1 victory against Burnley did United dominate their opposition.
The week-long closure of their Carrington training ground due to a COVID-19 outbreak is unlikely to have helped.
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