Adam Hern takes a look at why Louis Van Gaal is the best thing to happen to Manchester United since the 2008 Champions League Final triumph.
After Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure, what the biggest club in the world needed was someone with a ruthless streak who would be brave enough to begin to build a new dynasty straight away. Instead what the club got, was David Moyes. You obviously all know the rest of that story without any more explanation.
It is essential in all walks of life that you are able to learn from your mistakes. The mistakes that led to the ineptitude of the 2013/2014 season finishing in 7th place have not been repeated. In Louis Van Gaal, executive vice chairman Ed Woodward did absolutely the right thing by appointing a manager with more experience than J.K Rowling does at publishing best-selling novels. In stark contrast to the farce of the previous year with the Fellaini signing, Van Gaal’s first transfer window was a much needed spending spree. Dead wood was cleared out and new signings were made in order to make the difference to a faltering and ageing squad. The remit at the beginning of the season, even with the well-publicised signings, was to finish in the top 4. This task was carried out with aplomb.
With all his experience, Louis Van Gaal will know exactly what he wants from his side over the remaining two years of his contract. The Dutchman is a winner. He will want a team challenging on all fronts for every possible trophy. His mentality will be to create a team full of world beaters. Some United supporters, whilst admiring van Gaal, don’t like his stubbornness. Yet that is exactly what a team full of superstars need. Someone who isn’t shy of telling them the right and wrongs of every attribute of their game. Whatever he says goes. There will be no time for failures at this football club. That is what made Sir Alex Ferguson so great and that is what will make the next two season’s trophy laden under this management. Ferguson was never going to last forever, so it was imperative that someone was bought in who could continue in a similar vain. After the small Moyes hiccup, the club have finally recovered.
The players that Louis Van Gaal wants, he will get. Money is not an issue any more. If he believes that the likes of Angel Di Maria, who has been on a whole poor since his arrival from Real Madrid last summer, still have a future as players of his club, then he will stick by them. If he feels that it would be best if they move on, he won’t be shy in waving goodbye. You don’t win the Champions League for Ajax and league titles in three countries by being a manager who isn’t able to build a top side full of star players. There is a formula to doing this and supporters just have to have faith that Van Gaal knows exactly what that formula is.
When you hear him in his press conferences, it is nigh on possible not to trust Van Gaal. He is not the type of manager who beats around the bush. There are no excuses if United don’t play so well. In fact, he is brave enough to admit it when the team don’t play as well as they should. When Manchester United are not the best team in a match, he doesn’t try to suggest otherwise. The United players will all listen and take on board what their manager says to the media. They know that their positions are all under threat if the levels of their performances slip. He is an absolute genius when dealing with journalists just like Sir Alex was and Jose Mourinho has been for over a decade. Top players in world football are queuing up round the block waiting for the phone call to sign for Manchester United to take the place of a current player. Van Gaal’s CV alone will be enough to entice any sceptical potential new signing into joining the club. It worked with Memphis Depay and it will work again. Having the opportunity to play in front of 75000 supporters at the Theatre of Dreams every fortnight only makes this proposal even sweeter.
By not being afraid of implementing new tactics and training ideas, Van Gaal is just about one of the most adaptable managers in the history of the game. He knows when something isn’t going right and has the ability to change things on the spur of the moment. Thus far any tactical tweaks and changes haven’t always paid off. With a largely new group of players however, his players, he will be able to pull of miraculous things at the world’s biggest football club. Once again, the future is looking very bright indeed. Louis Van Gaal is the best thing to happen to Manchester United Football Club for a very long time.
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