Winds of Change at Man Utd
Louis van Gaal has been named as Manchester United manager, with Ryan Giggs as his assistant.
Van Gaal, 62, has signed a three-year contract to succeed David Moyes.
The Dutchman, who has won titles with Ajax, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and AZ Alkmaar, will take charge at Old Trafford after leading the Netherlands at this summer’s World Cup in Brazil.
Earlier this week Man Utd confirmed that they had signed Louis van Gaal as their new manager. When you consider the sort of season United have had who the United board chose to succeed David Moyes on a permanent basis was going to send a very important message. This message would not only be for the players but also the fans. When Sir Alex ‘hand picked’ David Moyes to succeed him some were very sceptical others, like myself, trusted in Sir Alex’s judgement and felt while there were no cup successes in Moyes’ background he had potential. He’d done some great things with not a lot at Everton and the opportunities presented at United could see his potential realised. As it stands Moyes’ reputation has taken a hit and while you can’t lay all the blame at his door for United’s lacklustre season he didn’t cover himself in glory.
It was important, then, that United brought in someone with an impressive CV, someone who has tasted success on multiple occasions and, preferably, not just with one team. Louis van Gaal ticks all those boxes but the task at hand isn’t an easy one. There’s a changing of the guard happening at United. Vidic has left for Inter, Ferdinand has retired and Evra isn’t sticking around either. The board talk of investment but he’ll have to spend wisely as without the Champions League money this season he’ll need to make sure who he buys performs. He will also need to deal with the players themselves who, at times, I felt didn’t seem to want it enough. That could be partly down to Moyes and his tactics/motivational speaking but whatever the cause some players seemingly didn’t want to be on the pitch. If reports from past players are to be believed I think some of United’s established players are in for quite a shock.
As for next season? Whilst he may talk up securing the title in his first season, which he’s done twice before, I would imagine that at the very least he’s targeting Champions League qualification. The United board won’t want another season out of this competition and the financial implications that would entail. Do I think we could secure the title? It’s always possible and it’s not like United’s playing staff turned awful overnight. What will also be key, will be our dealings in the transfer market after the World Cup. No matter who you buy there’s always a risk they won’t adapt well to a different league or team; no team is immune from this.
For me though I’ll be happy if we start playing football properly again. My major complaint when I caught replays of United’s games was that we played with such negativity. Gone was the fast paced counter-attacking United and in its place was a team that sat deep and defended leads. In van Gaal United have a fantastic manager who could return United to winning ways quickly and plays the way the fans like. It’s going to be interesting to see where this goes and I, like many fans, hope it’ll be the top of the table.