1. Van Gaal’s tactical inflexibility
Van Gaal’s stubborn and heavy-headed nature was well-known before he took over at Manchester United. But his persistent and headstrong commitment to the 4-2-3-1 formation had been one of the main reasons why United’s football had been so dour and restricted during his tenure.
His philosophy of holding on to the ball at all conditions shackled the freedom his players needed and took out the creativity completely from the picture, which resulted in United struggling in the final third of the pitch. And with two holding midfielders in the team, the Red Devils more often than not ended up with seven players in their own half which hampered them a lot going forward. United lacked the necessary penetration and flair in the attacking third but the Dutchman stuck to his own way and did nothing to change things which eventually led to his downfall at Old Trafford.