Louis van Gaal believes that Manchester United were the best team in the Premier League until injuries took their toll on the players. The Red Devils were top of the league for a brief period in November but never recovered from the accumulation of injuries post that period, with up to 14 players unavailable for selection at one point.
The United manager redeemed himself by progressing into the finals of the FA Cup where they will face Crystal Palace at Wembley next month and are also in for a good shout to finish in the top four, currently five points adrift of fourth-placed Arsenal, with a game in hand. Van Gaal revealed that he was also let down in the transfer market where he wanted fast creative players but was not satisfied with the quality of service provided when they arrived at the club.
The Dutchman's future at Old Trafford is under major scrutiny with former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho being heavily linked with a move in the summer. The Portuguese man is currently without a club and recently expressed a desire to return to England where his family is living. However, Van Gaal is adamant that he has marshalled his troops to the best of his ability despite the flurry of injuries and that they will be at a better level next season should he be given another chance.
"When everybody was fit, we were first in the league at that time. Then when we had 14 injuries, or the double injuries on the full-back positions, I could not solve that problem. But still we are here, still we are fighting for the fourth place, also we are in the final of the FA Cup," Van Gaal said, as quoted by the Mirror.
"We have played in three competitions — I think we are the team who have played the most matches in this season. We've done it with a small group with 14 injuries. They have shown great spirit a lot of times this season because we have lost, and I have said this a lot, against Liverpool and then we came back against West Ham, for example. We have lost against Arsenal 3-0 in London, then we won in Liverpool against Everton, 3-0.
"We need quick, creative players, I've said that also, in the transfer period. That's a tricky remark of me because I have to manage players whose quality is not always what I want. But now the fans have seen a very exciting match. With a lot of entertainment. Maybe you can write about it!"