1) Louis van Gaal
Louis van Gaal hasn’t exactly won hearts and minds at Man United and despite keeping them within touching distance of the title and helping them get the top four last season the pressure is still on. Two wins, two draws and two losses in Europe must come back down to the manager who just hasn’t done a good enough job to inspire his side to success.
2) A lack of fire power
The side, like in the Premier League, have a woeful lack of fire power. Wayne Rooney has been in terrible form this season, scoring just one goal in European competition. The club’s top scorer in Europe is Martial who has scored twice, including a goal against Wolfsburg. The side did score twice in Germany, although one was via an own goal. Despite spending a lot of money on attack minded players they simply are not clicking.
3) Ineffective possession based game
A hallmark of United’s play has been their possession based approach. This hasn’t worked well domestically but in Europe it’s also been exposed. Opposition teams have used quick, incisive football to expose their possession approach. United have been the team with the fourth highest average possession in Europe, yet despite this have crashed out into the Europa League which highlights the ineffective nature of Louis van Gaal’s overall footballing philosophy.
4) English teams just aren’t good
Whilst the dull tactics may just about grind results out in the Premier League the European competition is far more competitive. United struggled because the bar was a lot higher. English teams have been exposed across the competition this season, despite Man City topping their group. The lack of quality has reduced a lot in England and this has been exposed by the poor form of United in Europe. who look a long, long way off winning the competition.