Man United put in a dismal display against Stoke and were deservedly beaten thanks to goals from Bojan and Marko Arnautovic.
Bojan’s opener came after Memphis Depay had misjudged a backwards header, which appeared to be caught by the wind as the Spaniard tapped in. Van Gaal insisted United didn’t “dare to play football” against Stoke.
“My thoughts are we don’t dare to play football in the first half,” van Gaal said.
“The second half was much better, but still created one or two chances, but still we have to score… we don’t dare to play. The circumstances were difficult – not only the circumstances the wind but also the pressure.”
United were woeful against Stoke and they let down all of the 2,500 travelling fans.
It was a surprise to see van Gaal stay in a job following defeat against Norwich but you get the sense that Saturday’s result is the final nail in the coffin for the Dutchman. United look bereft of confidence and the blame has to lie at the feet of the manager.