A brace, a Worldie, & a Kiss Seal United's Victory over Villa


Van Gaal's love-in with Ander Herrera at halftime during the game at Old Trafford against Aston Villa tells its own story. The Iron Tulip cemented his love-hate relationship, with the Basque midfielder, with a kiss. LVG claims he planted one on Herrera because his first goal, for the Red Devils, right before half time represented the fist time in the young Spanish midfielder's life that he had managed to control the ball and score – a stretch of the truth at best.

Ander Herrera, Manchester United Midfielder wheels away after scoring against visitors Aston Villa at Old Trafford.

Curious statement from the gaffer since Herrera is one of of the few players on the squad who has a delightful first touch, and he has already shown in the past that he is able to provide goals from the middle of the park. Then again Van Gaal does endulge is strange celebrations, no doubt Ryan Giggs would be relieved it was not his face that was being smacked by LVG this time, a smackeroo on Herrera instead would have been a most welcomed change of pace for the Welshman.

To understand the previously strained relationship between the United boss and his £30m recruit, you have to understand Van Gaal's philosophy. The Dutch trainer-manager has a profound distaste for individual fluidity as it pertains to ball movement. LVG is a strong believer in moving the ball within a dynamic framework of triangles. There is reliance upon overcoming opponents by simply having greater numbers in key areas of the pitch. LVG adopts what is

Herrera Stats ahead of Villa game. Courtesy of WhoScored.com.

"essentially an over obsessive appetite for possession. The use of short quick one-two passing supported by a fluid and organic network of triangular origami-like movement to sustain channels for passes. The main objective is to keep the field compact and not share the ball with your opponent. If they do not have the ball, they simply cannot score." - chuky Akosionu