Van Gaal took Shaw off as precaution against Arsenal but not Herrera

by Ben Topliss

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal substituted Luke Shaw at half-time in the 2-1 FA Cup defeat against Arsenal due to an injury but Ander Herrera’s withdrawal was tactical.

A number of Man United fans have criticised the double change as Herrera’s absence negatively affected the team’s play.

With Radamel Falcao and Juan Mata on the bench, van Gaal then chose to replace Marcos Rojo and Adnan Januzaj with his last remaining substitution.

Manchester Evening News say Shaw was taken off as a precaution as he was not fully fit but Herrera was hooked as van Gaal simply wanted to change United’s game plan.

Phil Jones replaced Shaw and his hesitancy partly led to Arsenal’s winner as Danny Welbeck capitalised on an awful backpass by Antonio Valencia.

Van Gaal has won praise for his substitutions in the past having famously sent on goalkeeper Tim Krul for the Netherland’s penalty shootout win against Costa Rica at the 2014 World Cup.

However, his decisions backfired against Arsenal and United ended up lumping the ball up to Marouane Fellaini in an attempt to find an equaliser. They didn’t, meaning the club has now gone 11 years without a Cup win.

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