Louis Van Gaal Reportedly Lost Dressing Room with Marcus Rashford Blast

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistApril 12, 2016

Manchester United's Dutch manager Louis van Gaal leaves the pitch after losing the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United at White Hart Lane in London, on April 10, 2016. 
Tottenham won 3-0. / AFP / GLYN KIRK / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.  /         (Photo credit should read GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)
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Manchester United's players were reportedly "furious" with Louis van Gaal and "turned on him" after he criticised Marcus Rashford in the wake of their 3-0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday. 

According to the Sun's Neil Ashton, the Dutchman "pinned the blame" on the players and in particular singled out Rashford for drifting wide to collect the ball and failing to trouble the Spurs defence. As a result, United's players are now "openly questioning" Van Gaal and have lost respect for him.

Marcos Rojo was also a target of the manager's ire, though the Argentinian's poor defending during Tottenham's second goal perhaps justified the criticism. Van Gaal also questioned Memphis Depay's and Matteo Darmian's "commitment and attitude" with the pair putting in another lacklustre showing.

Ashton also reported the players described the 64-year-old as "clueless" following the baffling decisions he made, most notably to replace striker Rashford with Ashley Young and then keep Anthony Martial out on the left.

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 10 :  Anthony Martial of Manchester United and Mousa Dembele of Tottenham Hotspur during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United at White Hart Lane on April 10, 2016 in London, England.  (P
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Ashton cited an unnamed source who said the players placed the blame on Van Gaal: "They blamed it all on the manager. You could hear everything. They don’t seem to have much time for him."

Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward "fatally undermined" Van Gaal's authority earlier in the season, according to Ashton, by quizzing the Red Devils' veterans on his methods, with their replies being "not complimentary."

Further, Woodward reportedly frequents the dressing room after games and will be aware of their doubt in Van Gaal's ability to lead them next season, but "visitors to the club’s London offices in Stratton Street are left with the impression" he will nevertheless be in charge.

ESPN's Alex Shaw is among many who believe the club are firmly underachieving under the Dutchman and it will only get worse if he sees out his final year:

Alex Shaw @AlexShawESPN

United's squad is crap but all things considered, it still is a top 3-5 side. At the very least. The rot has set in with LVG.

Alex Shaw @AlexShawESPN

But yeah... If LVG stays for the next season, United will finish about 10th

Shaw backed up his claim by sharing Van Gaal's poor record of results and failure to win from losing positions—something Manchester United were famous for under Sir Alex Ferguson:

Alex Shaw @AlexShawESPN

LVG at MUFC: P94 W47 D24 L23 Games fallen behind in: 31 Games won from there: 6 (Includes Preston, Brugges and Midtjylland)

Key to their struggles this season has been their inability to find the back of the net. Squawka Football provided some perspective:

Squawka Football @Squawka

Goals scored in the Premier League this season: Bournemouth (40) Manchester United (39) https://t.co/cFkn5hl4Ii

In his column for the Sun, former Arsenal striker Ian Wright said he believes, given the money spent on transfers and his continuously baffling decisions, United should call time on Van Gaal's torrid tenure at Old Trafford, noting the players likely feel the same way:

There is a distinct lack of belief in the whole team. They clearly do not believe in what manager Louis van Gaal considers to be tactics and a winning philosophy.

The energy levels and the half-hearted approach underlines that they do not believe in him and that most of them must believe that he is on his bike in the summer.

The Red Devils weren't particularly inspiring in their first campaign under Van Gaal but have become far worse this season, and there's little indication he can turn things around, particularly if he has lost the dressing room.

Indeed, with Chelsea and Manchester City likely to be improved next season as they welcome Antonio Conte and Pep Guardiola, respectively, not to mention Spurs' dramatic improvement under Mauricio Pochettino and Leicester City's fairytale rise to the top, it's clear United have much to do—starting with Van Gaal leaving the clublest they be left trailing in their rivals' wake.


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