Louis van Gaal defends Marouane Fellaini snub following West Bromwich Albion defeat

by Tanveer Arayan

Louis van Gaal has explained why he chose to bring on Timothy Fosu-Mensah rather than Marouane Fellaini in Manchester United’s 1-0 defeat against West Bromwich Albion on Sunday.

With United a goal and a man down following Juan Mata’s dismissal at The Hawthorns, van Gaal used his final substitution to bring on Fosu-Mensah for Matteo Darmian in the 83rd minute.

The change was a source of frustration for supporters as the imposing Fellaini might have offered more support to Anthony Martial up top.

Speaking about the substitution, van Gaal said: ”It is not because Fellaini can play in a striker position that we are better off as a team, I have to see how we can build up and at the time Fosu-Mensah was coming in we were not building up, we were only doing long balls, thats why I thought with him we could do better, Darmian played twice within four days and was injured, I had to take care of him.”

Van Gaal also chose to replace the forward-thinking Ander Herrera with Morgan Schneiderlin on Sunday in another change that bemused supporters.

The substitutions summed up the Dutchman’s whole approach this season; slow, calculated build-up play. United, in previous years, might have thrown the kitchen sink at West Brom in order to secure a point or perhaps more. As it turned out, van Gaal’s philosophy has cost United more points this term.


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