Photo: Manchester United’s Dutch manager Louis van Gaal (AFP Photo/Paul Ellis)
Man United are only two points away from the top of the Premier League table. I cannot understand why many people are critical of Man United’s new style of play – possession football.
Though ball possession is different from the tiki-taka which is a style of play in football characterized by short passing and movement, working the ball through various channels, and maintaining possession, (made famous by FC Barcelona) both of them have one common characteristic – ball possession. Without ball possession before, during and finding the ball behind the opponent’s net, the tiki-taka method is useless, if not, unusable.
Despite criticisms of my team, the red devils have used this growing but presently ubiquitous style of play. This style was introduced by Louis van Gaal and I love it. Despite the criticisms of this style especially by two Man United greats, Rio Ferdinand and Paul Scholes, the red devils have continued to accumulate points on the league table.
According to Stretford Ender, the die-hard RED who has the worst MUFC tattoo in the history of both Manchester United and tattoos, “not only that but over the last year their defense has become so compact and well-organized that it’s now often touted as the best in the league, and as a result United have become preposterously hard to beat.”
Ender equally wrote that “with this as a foundation, Chelsea embarrassingly, but still gloriously, floundering and both Manchester City and Arsenal dropping silly points that means they have been unable to build a gap at the top, United should feel that a title push is well within their grasp.”
I agree with her but what I think is going on within the ranks of the players is how to reach near-perfection of Van Gaal’s philosophical range – which irks the two aforementioned Man U greats.
I wouldn’t think too deeply of those two as they are only expressing themselves hoarse. Every new system is always challenged, especially when that system is difficult or is a radical departure from the status quo.
Sir Alex Ferguson didn’t seem to have a philosophy as near Van Gaal’s but his former style is now moribund or I shall say, obsolete.
Even in the possession play, some elements of the tiki -taka are slowly taking root within Van Gaal’s team and I repeat, I love it.
Manchester United may have to win this season’s Premier League with the twin brother of tiki-taka or shall I say the half-brother – possession football.
This is the closest Man U has reached in two seasons before December that I think Man United may have to win this league.
Up Man U!