United have bored me at times too, says van Gaal

Louis van Gaal looking frustrated or in his words, "very bored", during the 1-0 FA Cup third-round win over Sheffield United.
Louis van Gaal looking frustrated or in his words, "very bored", during the 1-0 FA Cup third-round win over Sheffield United. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

LONDON • Louis van Gaal has admitted that even he has been "very bored" watching Manchester United at times this season.

The United manager has faced persistent criticism over his team's dull style of play and lack of goals, and he conceded on Monday that there have been occasions when he has been turned off by their stultifying brand of football.

Asked before his side's Premier League clash at Newcastle this morning (Singapore time) whether he enjoyed watching United play, van Gaal replied: "There are matches that I have enjoyed very much.

"There are also matches where I'm very bored or angry because we are not disorganising our opponent's defence, but that is football."

The statistics of United's performances at Old Trafford tell their own story.

The Red Devils have scored 12 goals at home, which would rank them 13th in the top flight before last night's fixtures. They have taken 78 shots in total - 19th-best in the league, while they have needed the most passes per shot (73.2).

Van Gaal acknowledged that rivals are "getting motivation out of us not scoring", but denied that he is more concerned about thwarting opponents than his team's attacking intent.

"I do feel I'm thinking more on how we have to attack," he said.

Meanwhile, Newcastle yesterday reached an agreement for the transfer of Swansea midfielder Jonjo Shelvey for a fee of £12 million (S$24.9 million), the BBC reported.

THE TIMES, LONDON

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 13, 2016, with the headline 'United have bored me at times too, says van Gaal'. Print Edition | Subscribe