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Premier League

Manchester United vs Swansea: Louis van Gaal left snarling as United manager set to increase transfer activity

Van Gaal admits these players are just not good enough as United suffer first opening day defeat since 1972

Louis van Gaal admitted that Manchester United need “better  players” after the Dutchman’s reign began with a 2-1 defeat to Swansea City. It was United’s first opening-day loss at home since 1972 and after a largely anaemic display the new manager said he saw players struggling to cope with the expectation of playing for the club. 

United will step up their search for replacements before the close of the transfer window. Despite being linked with Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal and Ajax wing-back Danny Blind, United have not signed anybody since the arrival of Ander Herrera and the now-injured Luke Shaw in June.

On the need for new faces, Van Gaal said: “ I know in what positions we need better players but you have to buy only when the player can fulfil the way of playing that I ask. We have to wait and see.”

Van Gaal, who gave debuts to Herrera and homegrown youngsters Tyler Blackett and Jesse Lingard, added: “I have seen a lot of players [looking] very nervous, making the wrong choices and that is a pity. But also these players have to use that expectation because it is Manchester United and you have to cope with that pressure.”


United won all their pre-season games but Van Gaal admitted that their confidence remained fragile. “It is not good because we have built up a lot of confidence and then it shall be smashed down because of this result,” he said.

New captain Wayne Rooney cancelled out Ki Sung-Yueng’s first-half goal with an acrobatic volley in the 53rd minute, but Swansea stunned Old Trafford when Gylfi Sigurdsson hit the winner with 18 minutes remaining.