Bastian Schweinsteiger has urged Manchester United’s disgruntled supporters to have faith in Louis van Gaal and his methods.
On the face of it, the Reds are enjoying an impressive season – they are just two points behind leaders Manchester City, and although they were eliminated from the League Cup by second-tier Middlesbrough on penalties, they are on the brink of qualifying for the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League. But despite this, a growing number of fans are becoming disillusioned.
The reason for this is the style of play which the team have been playing in recent weeks. Although United can boast the best defence in the Premier League, only Crystal Palace and Liverpool of the sides in the top-half of the table have scored fewer than their 17 goals. This has prompted some fans to point the finger at van Gaal, who has instructed a more cautious brand of football.
For the supporters who had become accustomed to the swashbuckling style of Sir Alex Ferguson’s all-conquering sides, this is a sobering experience. Chants of ‘attack, attack, attack’ have been common-place at Old Trafford of late, but Schweinsteiger is familiar with van Gaal’s work having enjoyed success with him at Bayern Munich and is sure they can repeat this in Manchester.
“I remember the fans were unsure about him early on at Bayern but in the end we did the double and so the fans in Munich loved him.”
“It is not about October or November, it is about May,” said the German international midfielder. “I recognise similarities between Louis van Gaal here and at Bayern Munich. In Munich, if you remember, it took a while before the team understood exactly how he wants to play football but in the end we won the Bundesliga title and made it to the UEFA Champions League final.
“I remember the fans were unsure about him early on at Bayern but in the end we did the double and so the fans in Munich loved him. I am sure Louis will bring success to United. I am convinced about that but we have to do our work and we have to improve. I am convinced it will happen. You have to be patient but, of course, during that you have to win, you have to get results and you have to score.
“Football is not only attack. There are teams with different game styles and they also win titles but I think especially in home matches we have to press and go forward. When you are playing a team who defend with 10 men it is not easy to find the gaps. It happens but you have to find solutions and this is where we can still improve, improve on breaking a team down.”