Van Gaal: Falcao did well
FAVOURITE: A fan taking a selfie with Louis van Gaal (right), who praised striker Falcao's display despite the latter missing a host of chances. PHOTO: JOHN SIBLEY/ACTION IMAGES
Louis van Gaal has challenged loan striker Radamel Falcao to "prove himself" worthy of a long-term Manchester United future. PA Sport examines the Colombia hitman's contribution in United's 2-0 EPL win at QPR on Saturday.
Did well in holding up the ball in his side's unusual 3-3-2-2 formation, but was unable to provide any incisive balls when confronted head on by QPR's defence. Even when van Gaal gave the fans their wish and reverted to something like a diamond 4-4-2 formation in the second half, Falcao still struggled to impose himself.
While his teammates struggled to get to grips with their boss' unorthodox set-up, Falcao himself should have had no trouble leading the line.
Instead too often, he found himself drifting onto the wing after laying off to a teammate during link play.
Time and again, Angel di Maria and Antonio Valencia had precious little to aim at in the centre when lining up crosses, purely because Falcao was still lingering out wide.
Falcao wasted four gilt-edged chances at point-blank range, which could easily have cost United victory on another day.
First he blasted straight at Rob Green after Juan Mata's fine through-ball, before failing to direct a close-range header past the Rangers goalkeeper.
Replacement James Wilson even served up two open goals for Falcao as the second half opened up, but still the struggling striker could not convert.
DID HE 'PROVE HIMSELF'?
No. An increasingly paltry three goals in 14 games is hardly likely to convince United's board to shell out the £40 million ($80.3m) to make Falcao's move permanent.
Any striker worthy of such a hefty transfer fee must surely be able to outfox a veteran centre back like Richard Dunne. But he didn't.
Scoring goals is an important aspect of a striker. But, for me, it’s also very important if he is an attacking point, that he can play further and that, with another striker, we are coming into third and fourth phases of our attack. And I think he did well.
- Louis van Gaal on Radamel Falcao