We all know that David Moyes was the first man given the opportunity to carry on the success that Sir Alex Ferguson had enjoyed during the Premier league years, sadly for Moyes he was unable to do this and was relieved of his duties as the Manchester United manager on 22nd April 2014 a year ago today. In the year that has passed a lot has changed at Manchester United. When Moyes left United they were languishing in 7th place in the Premier League. After Moyes was sacked, Ryan Giggs was put in charge for the final four games of the season. Giggs called on his Class of 92 legends Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes and Phil Neville to help him guide United through those final four games of the season. Much as Manchester united fans would love to see Ryan Giggs in charge of Manchester United one day, I think we can all admit it was too early to ask him to do the job now.
Their only seemed to one name on everyone’s lips when talking about who would be the permanent replacement for Moyes in the Old Trafford manager’s chair. Van Gaal at the time of Moyes sacking was the manager of the Dutch national team and preparing to take them to the World Cup in Brazil. The media tried to question Van Gaal on numerous occasions about the prospect of taking over at Old Trafford, he just laughed this off and told them to ask the club. To me this showed that Van Gaal had already agreed to take the manager’s job at Old Trafford. Van Gaal was finally named the Manchester United manager on 19th May 2014, the club also announced that Giggs would remain on the coaching staff as Van Gaal’s assistant.
Van Gaal’s target for the coming season was surely to get United back into the Champions League, he looks set to achieve this target as United currently sit in 3rd place in the Premier League with 5 games to play. It was a busy summer for Van Gaal and United as they opened the cheque book to bring in Luke Shaw, Ander Herrera, Angel Di Maria, Marcos Rojo, Daley Blind and on deadline day completed the signing of Radamel Falcao on loan. As soon as Van Gaal arrived at Old Trafford he talked about his philosophy and for a while everyone questioned what exactly his philosophy was, including majority of Manchester United fans.
Comparison Of Moyes and Van Gaal’s First Press Conferences
From those very first press conferences of the respective men, you can clearly see the differences. Moyes a man who had managed Preston North End and Everton, had never won a major trophy. He was taking over one of the biggest clubs in the world and succeeding one of the greatest manager’s the game has ever seen. Moyes was in awe of the club and everything that it and Ferguson had achieved over the years. I feel that Moyes tried to change too much to show that he was the boss and now looking back you can tell right from the very start the players weren’t playing for him. I don’t think they wanted him to fail but it must be clearly difficult when you’ve had the same manager for so many years to be able to adapt to a new man being in charge and changing a lot of what they were used to.
Van Gaal arrived at Manchester United with an impressive CV, he had just taken a Dutch team, regarded by many in home country to be one of the weakest Dutch national teams in recent years. We saw him pulling off the masterstroke of changing his goalkeeper with seconds left of a match for the penal shootout. Van Gaal had previously managed Ajax, Barcelona on two separate occasions and Bayern Munich, he’s won the Spanish, Dutch and German league titles. Whilst also winning the European Cup with Ajax, when he took charge of Barcelona (the first time) and Bayern Munich, they had poor seasons the year before and Van Gaal can be credited with the two great clubs we see today. From his very first press conference he said I’m here to be number one, whereas Moyes claimed United aspired to be like Chelsea and City, which didn’t sit well with the majority of United fans.
I think over the last month or so we have finally seen the Van Gaal philosophy taking shape at Manchester United, with impressive victories over rivals for the Champions League places. Before those run of wins United’s place in next season’s Champions League looked in serious jeopardy. Two of Moyes signings last season Fellaini and Mata, have been two of the players that have played important parts in the result run of victories. Fellaini was a scapegoat for many United fans last season and even at the start of this was subject of boos from a section of United’s support. Fellaini along with Ashley Young were seen by many as two of the players that would be the first ones out of the door at Old Trafford once Van Gaal took over. The question now is will these players play a major part in Van Gaal’s plans for next season, as they aim to win back the Premier League trophy and make their mark on Europe one again.
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