It is always frustrating to crash out of a cup competition, it is even more frustrating if you end up crashing out to your eternal rivals. Liverpool drew 1-1 last night at Old Trafford and made it through to the quarter-finals of the Europa League, 3-1 on aggregate. Anthony Martial gave United the lead thanks to a well-taken penalty that he earned himself, but Phillipe Coutinho cut through the United defence on the stroke of half time to equalise and hammered the final nail in our coffin. Although the team tried hard to recover from the blow, but the Scousers simply parked the bus and were impregnable. Here are 3 things we learnt from the game:
1. Van Gaal has lost it
Louis van Gaal has officially lost it — his persistence to keep playing Carrick and Fellaini in central midfield despite having Schweinsteiger and Schneiderlin on the bench, his unfathomable substitutions, like bringing on new fullbacks and defensive midfielder when the team needs 3 goals, his laid back attitude are some of the things most fans just cannot tolerate any more. His belief in “philosophy” and “time” has tested the patience of a lot of people so far, but it cannot be allowed anymore. In spite of having spent more than 250 million pounds so far, United have no silverware to show for it so far. Enough is enough, we say!
2. Some of the players need to be reconsidered
Players like Michael Carrick, Marouane Fellaini, Juan Mata, Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo have been underperforming for a long time now. The time has come to seriously scrutinise their performances and let go of one or some of them and bring in new blood. Carrick no longer has that cutting edge, Fellaini is just not good enough, Mata is inconsistent while Jones and Rojo spend more time in the treatment room than on the pitch. It may sound harsh, but you need to clear the deadweight to make way for the new.
3. We need Rooney back!
Wayne Rooney has been out for a while now, and the club thoroughly miss him, both in terms of his goal scoring prowess and his passing abilities. Being the captain, he also gets involved in a lot of other factors as well, which give the team a mental boost. One hopes the Englishman can return by the first week of April, for Manchester United need him more than ever now.