Manchester United Squad “Angered” by Louis van Gaal’s Substitution of Juan Mata

The Manchester United dressing room was reportedly unhappy with manager Louis van Gaal’s decision to replace Juan Mata with Nick Powell, as the squad trailed behind Wolfsburg in their Champions League face-off.

The club have now been ejected from the Champions League in the group stage, after being defeated 3-2 by the German outfit. This has led to further concerns regarding Van Gaal’s management of his team, and his decision to replace Mata with Nick Powell, a player who has spent 16 months out of the first team, in the 69th minute despite them losing 2-1 to Wolfsburg.

A report from the Times claims that Van Gaal is now facing “growing resentment” from his squad, with them being “bemused” by his decision to take Mata off the pitch despite the midfielder having assisted Anthony Martial in the team’s first goal, and with him being the stand-out player for United during the match.

According to the report, although players were frustrated with Van Gaal’s tactics, they did not express this to the manager due to the belief that he is unlikely to alter his divisive strategies at this point. The report reads: “Wayne Rooney, who was absent with an ankle injury against Wolfsburg that will also rule him out of Saturday’s trip to Bournemouth, and Michael Carrick, a second-half substitute in Germany, went to see Van Gaal this season to register concerns about playing style and set-up on behalf of the squad. That decision has not been repeated, partly in the belief that little is likely to change.”

Van Gaal was pictured sitting on the sidelines with his head in his hands as United failed to defeat Wolfsburg, ending their chances of Champions League success before even making it to the knockout stage. Several sources now claim that Van Gaal’s future with Manchester United is being seriously questioned by Man U’s owners, and with Carlo Ancelotti stating that he was interested in moving to the club, the Dutchman’s retirement could come sooner rather than later.

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