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Manchester United's Everton defeat a 'reality check' for Louis van Gaal, says Jamie Redknapp

Jamie Redknapp

Manchester United's defeat at Everton could be useful to Louis van Gaal in the long run, says Jamie Redknapp - but he's tipping them to get back to winning ways against West Brom on Saturday Night Football...

No one likes to lose matches, but I wonder whether Manchester United's defeat at Everton could be a useful reality check for Louis van Gaal and the Old Trafford board.

While Van Gaal has been critical of his players after the 3-0 loss, their top-four spot should be assured - they can guarantee Champions League football next season with wins in their next two against West Brom and Crystal Palace - so the defeat isn’t that costly.

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However, what it does do is mean United will not go into the summer transfer window on the back of a great run of results, which might have fooled the management or board into thinking they are able to compete for the title with their current squad of players. Because I don’t think that’s the case.

They’ve had some good results and played well against the likes of Manchester City. A lot of that has been because of the form of Marouane Fellaini, with United going direct to him. They got away with that tactic for a while before Chelsea and Everton nullified him.

Radamel Falcao Garcia and Wayne Rooney of Manchester United on April 26, 2015 against Everton
Image: United lost 3-0 at Goodison Park on Sunday

Fellaini has been in good form but is he the answer long term? I don’t think he is. You want a bit more subtlety in your game – especially for Champions League games next year. I can’t deny he’s surprised me and I have respect for what he’s done. But it’s a worry teams can stop Man United by stopping Fellaini. You need to have more to you than that one option.

One thing’s for sure, Man City and Chelsea will be ahead of them again next season if they don’t get some top players in during the summer – because that’s what City and Chelsea will be planning to do.

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That said, it looks like Van Gaal will achieve the minimum requirement of him this season, a top-four finish. Considering they haven’t had Champions League football and were knocked out of the Capital One Cup early, they should be fresh and enjoying their football at this stage of the season. The run they were on prior to the Chelsea game didn’t surprise me.

But while I reckon those defeats to Chelsea and Everton can be useful learning experiences for Van Gaal, he won’t want the confidence and momentum they’d built up prior to those games to disappear completely. They’ll be looking to bounce back against West Brom and finish the season well.

Fellaini has been in good form but is he the answer long term? I don’t think he is.
Jamie Redknapp


As Liverpool found out last week, that’s no easy task against Tony Pulis’ well-organised West Brom side.

After back-to-back home defeats against QPR (1-4) and Leicester (2-3) you wondered whether the wheels might have come off and maybe Pulis had lost his magic. But since then he’s taken them to Crystal Palace and won 2-0 and got a clean sheet in the draw with Liverpool on Saturday.

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Those two results highlighted what Pulis does so well – he drills his team, makes sure they all know what they’re doing defensively and gets clean sheets.

They’ll go to Old Trafford on Saturday Night Football aiming to catch United on the break and hope Saido Berahino can continue his good form against them. The striker scored against them earlier this season and netted the winner at United last season, so he’ll be full of confidence.

That said, I can see United winning a tight game 2-1.  

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