Carrick Defends Van Gaal: ‘I’ll Take Winning Over Tactics’

Having been criticised for their pedestrian style of play, the midfielder says tactics are over-analysed in the present era of football when games are being won

Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick feels criticisms of Louis van Gaal‘s tactics are misguided and insisted they should not be a concern if his side are winning.

United have been criticised for their possession-based game under manager Van Gaal, who has showed no sign of moving away from his rigid and risk-free approach, despite growing frustration among supporters.

Chants of “attack, attack, attack” were sang during United’s 1-0 Champions League win over CSKA Moscow at Old Trafford on Tuesday, while the withdrawal of Anthony Martial for Marouane Fellaini was met by boos.

Carrick, however, feels complaints over tactics should not be made given they are winning games.

“It’s about winning, isn’t it?” said Carrick. “Winning games and trophies.

“Of course we want to play exciting football and score loads of goals, but it’s not always easy when teams are coming and putting 10 men behind the ball. It’s difficult.

“I think there’s an awful lot made of tactics these days. People like to talk about that a lot more now than they did in the past.

“Different managers have different systems and the way they set the teams up. That’s just the nature of the game.

“Obviously our game is based on possession and dominating teams with possession. But at the end of the day, you have to score. That’s the name of the game.

“I don’t think it’s more conservative [under Van Gaal]. I just think it’s slightly different, in some ways, but not all ways.

“I thought we were more dynamic and aggressive in terms of attacking and getting forward quickly and getting crosses in the box.

“If you win 1-0 then the tactics don’t get discussed that much. That’s the way of things. It’s fine lines isn’t it?

“Yes, there are things as a team that we do differently to how we did them in the past but to me, that’s just obvious when you have a new manager and he has different beliefs.

“There’s a lot made of tactics and things at the minute, but as players we can’t get too involved in that. We just do what the manager tells us.”

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