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Louis van Gaal: The expectation is very high and the fans are expecting a lot but I think the expectations are much too high!

Manchester United culminated the Premier League season with a convincing 3-1 win over Bournemouth, where Chris Smalling’s own goal relieved Bournemouth after goals from Wayne Rooney, Marcus Rashford, and Ashley Young. Overall, there were positives to take from the match, as Rashford, Rooney, and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson looked impressive in particular.

However, United obviously failed to score the 19 goals needed for Champions League qualification. This will spark a financial downturn in United’s fortunes, and potentially a massive one if they can’t quality for Europe’s elite competition at the end of next season. Rooney spoke to Sky Sports about this disappointing truth after the game.

“A club of this size wants to be playing in the Champions League. It’s very disappointing.”

Louis van Gaal gave the typical seasonal farewell at Old Trafford today, saluting the fans and praising their quality throughout the season. Van Gaal, booed and jeered by fans at the end of the game, would still enjoy a peaceful departure in comparison to predecessor David Moyes if he left the club, and his words were, for the most part, positive.

“Ok, I want to say something. On behalf of my players, of my staff, of myself I want to thank you for the unconditional support of you. Wherever we have played, however the things have gone on the field you never let us down. Thank you for that and we want to bring the FA Cup home. To you! You deserve it above every other fan of the club, thank you.”

Van Gaal also stated his satisfaction with the victory, noting the fact it was a comfortable win and the players created many chances and attacked productively. His words about de Gea’s late Golden Glove capitulation at the end were particularly pleasing, as he spoke the minds of United fans at the time.

“You never know but it’s a very good victory. We have created, many, many chances in the second-half. In the first-half it was slow against a defensive opponent. My only irritation is about the last goal, because David did not win the Golden Glove. He deserved that. The second-half was very good. Rashford scored a goal and a striker who scores goals is always doing well. More or less, that is the issue [not scoring enough] but the issue is the amount of injuries in November and December and it was, particularly, in full-back positions.”

United fans often forget that the club was first in the league before a massive injury crisis dismantled all hopes of a title push. However, van Gaal will not let fans forget this fact, especially as it is a fact he will use to defend his job position going into next season.

“I have also said we need creative, fast attackers, I have said that. We have to take care of that but, nevertheless, when everybody was fit we were first in the league. These are the facts. You can never see it in the future, you can only analyse the past and evaluate and then we make up our minds.”

Asked if he understood the booing at Old Trafford after the game, van Gaal showed his understanding that his men have not met expectations this season, though he did also say that the club is in a massive transition period and it will take time before fans can see anything close to the United of old again.

“Of course [I understand the booing]. The expectation is very high and the fans are expecting a lot but I think the expectations are much too high. We are a team in transition and I said that when I started but maybe I have to bring the message over much clearer.”

Overall, United fans seem to have grown tired of this season and the events that have made it so disappointing. The club will proudly travel to Wembley on Saturday, but make no mistake; there are very few things to be proud about at Old Trafford right now, especially if contrasted with three years ago.

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