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José Mourinho reportedly blames United’s poor form on a Van Gaal hangover-effect

Scapegoating or a fair cop?

Bayern Muenchen v Real Madrid - Beckenbauer Farewell Match Photo by Sandra Behne/Bongarts/Getty Images

Manchester United manager José Mourinho reportedly blames the side’s recent poor form on his predecessor, Louis van Gaal. This is according to an interesting report from the Mirror’s David Anderson, which claims that:

Mourinho has told friends he feels the players are still hindered by the rigid style of play under his old Barcelona mentor Van Gaal, three months after he began working with them.

He believes he is having to retrain the players to think for themselves after two years of being stifled by the Dutchman's mental-straitjacket approach.

The other interesting nugget is that Mourinho believes one midfielder in particular to be struggling:

It is believed he feels midfielder Ander Herrera, in particular, is struggling to cope after being told to play differently by Van Gaal.

Of course, it’s impossible for us to verify these claims, which appear to have come out of private (or quasi-private) conversations. However, it’s not hard to believe that this would be Mourinho’s take, not least with United having demonstrated the same kind of tactical rigidity over the last few matches that characterised van Gaal’s tenure. But must Mourinho take some of the blame, too?