Lethal Vardy is a problem for LVG
United boss remembers how 'nasty' striker hurt last season
Louis van Gaal will have his team on high alert for deadly goal threat Jamie Vardy when Manchester United try to unseat Leicester City at the King Power Stadium.
A win for Manchester United at the King Power Stadium would allow Van Gaal to leapfrog Claudio Ranieri into the top spot but the Dutchman is wary of Vardy who stands on the brink of a new Premier League scoring record.
Vardy equalled Ruud van Nistlerooy's 10-game scoring run against Newcastle but Van Gaal was aware of his ability more than a year ago when Leicester beat United 5-3.
"I remember that he was last season a very nasty player for us. I remember Vardy in that game, so I don't want to remember that game especially, because of the result but also the way we lost wasn't good.
"Vardy scored, won a penalty, and now he is scoring 10 games in a row. I only know Dennis Bergkamp, as a player with me, who did the same with Ajax. It's not so easy to do that," he said.
"That game, I said also in the press conference after, we lost because the referee gave a penalty, against Rafael, I remember that very well," said van Gaal.
"In my opinion, the referee changed the match, but of course it was still 3-2 then, so you cannot blame the ref you have to blame yourself, but it was the return of Leicester in that game."
Rebuffing any questions about his interest in signing Vardy, Van Gaal explained his thinking behind loaning James Wilson to Brighton for the rest of the season.
"Players of his age need to play and I can imagine that fans are saying that this is ridiculous, they have difficulties to score, but that is a short-term thought.
"We have to think what is better for a player like Wilson. We believe in him so he has to develop himself elsewhere. If we need him, we can call him back."
Van Gaal believes that Leicester represent a genuine title threat.
"Normally this kind of club can be a long time competing, but at the end (of the season) it is more difficult," he said.
"But in England, because of the quality of the teams, because very team has the money to buy players, and they have bought players, the difference in the level between Premier League clubs is not so high," he added.
Van Gaal is under increasing pressure to deliver football which is more pleasing to the eye after a wave of criticism which followed the 0-0 draw with PSV in midweek but he is adamant that teams like Leicester make it difficult.
"Of course the fans have to be happy," said Van Gaal. "You are playing for the fans, so you cannot deny that."
"But also you have to see how our opponents are playing against us, and when you see how they play, you know the difficulty of organising against that type of opponent."
"I think that our defensive organisation is normally the best part of our game and, after that match against Leicester, we are proving that we have very good defensive organisation and we have proved that this season more than ever.
"We are still not lucky in finishing the chances. We are creating chances, and when we are not creating, then maybe I am worried. But we are not giving much away. That is why we are second in the league and second in our Champions League group."
Chelsea and Liverpool have also been named as interested parties once the January transfer window opens but the Dutchman had a blunt response to questions about any move for Vardy.