Bilic: Manchester United are not boring
MAN UNITED v WEST HAM
(Tonight, 11pm, Singtel TV Ch 102 & StarHub TV Ch 227)
Slaven Bilic insists Manchester United are anything but boring.
Louis van Gaal's side have been accused of being dull this season despite lying third in the Premier League, a point off top spot.
Sections of their own fans have chanted "attack, attack, attack" in frustration at van Gaal's conservative approach, a far cry to the swashbuckling sides of Sir Alex Ferguson.
But Bilic, who takes West Ham to Old Trafford to face United tonight, said: "I don't find them boring.
"I have watched many games - they are always on television - and in every game they have more chances than the opponents.
"In every game they have more possession and in every game the opponents only have one or two chances.
"They are different from the Sir Alex Ferguson era when - especially at home - they were more electric, they were quicker, playing around the box and in the box.
"But narrow victories are still victories. They are not conceding goals.
"Some people say they are boring, I have heard it many times. They are having the ball, they are not giving you the ball and defending.
"They have possession, they are controlling the game and they are trying to win every game so you can say that they are different from before, especially at home when the other teams are defending with numbers behind the ball.
"You can't play quicker because you need gaps and space behind the opponents. For them it is hard to find.
"So we can call it controlled football, patient football, but it is so far very effective because they are sitting well in the table."
United may be sitting pretty in third, one point of the top, but they have an injury crisis to contend with.
Van Gaal confirmed yesterday that captain Wayne Rooney has been ruled out of Manchester United's upcoming games against West Ham and Wolfsburg because of an ankle injury.
He said that the striker's injury, which he suffered during the 1-1 draw at Leicester last weekend, was worse than feared.
The 30-year-old, who has played 499 games for the club, will miss tonight's home game against West Ham and the crucial Champions League fixture in Wolfsburg on Wednesday morning (Singapore time).
"It's a nasty injury. He shall not play his 500th game (on Saturday) because he is more injured than I thought, so we have to wait for that game," the United manager said.
"His ankle is not good enough and we have to recover that ankle with a lot of strength. He has to do a lot of exercises to make his ankle stronger. He needs more time."
Van Gaal later confirmed Rooney would also miss United crucial game in Germany, which they need to win to guarantee their place in the knockout stages of the Champions League.
The 64-year-old also confirmed defender Marcos Rojo would be sidelined for a number of weeks after dislocating his shoulder in training.
Ander Herrera and Phil Jones, who missed the last two games with hamstring and ankle injuries respectively, are also missing.
The only good news for van Gaal from the treatment room is that winger Jesse Lingard has overcome a hamstring injury and is fit to face Bilic's side.
Given that Luke Shaw and Antonio Valencia are out with long-term leg injuries, the Dutchman's squad are looking extremely thin going into a crunch period during which his team will play seven games in 30 days." - PA Sport.