At the start of the season, all eyes were on Manchester United, not because they had already sacked David Moyes and were out of the Champions League for the first time in nearly 20 years but they had signed Louis Van Gaal, the manager of the moment. Van Gaal did extremely well with the Dutch national side in the 2014 World Cup with his team playing some good football (apart from the semi-final with Argentina) and supporters were expecting the same football to be played at Manchester United this season as well.
Van Gaal was even supported by the board and was allowed to bring in a couple of big signings likes Luke Shaw, Daley Blind, Ander Herrera, Radamel Falcao and Angel Di Maria; the blue print of the old Manchester United team was gone. Danny Welbeck, Nani, Anderson, Tom Cleverly were just some of the players who were either sold or loaned away for this new team to gel together and challenge for a top 4 place at least.
Progress made but at what price?
If you had offered a Manchester United supporter a top 4 finish at the start of the season, they wouldn’t have bitten your hand off but that would have been the minimum requirement for the club and its fans. Manchester United have not been known to perform poorly and expect the side to challenge for the title every season, especially this season as they did not have any European commitments and had invested heavily into the squad but for some reason that has not worked out as everyone expected.
United currently sit in third position behind Manchester City and Chelsea, they are 12 points behind Chelsea and are just one point ahead of a chasing pack for the Champions League place but more than the position of the club which has been decent enough it is their style of play which has irked a lot of the United faithful.
Paul Scholes recently came out and was critical of the style of play that Louis Van Gaal has applied at the club, they were known for attacking football but that has just not transpired for Manchester United. In fact against the 1-1 draw against West Ham, Sam Allardyce made a comment about United playing too many long balls, while everyone knew Sam was trying to rile up his opposite manager, no one expected the kind of outburst that Van Gaal was going to produce at the press conference.
He provided a dossier to all the journalists to point out that United were not playing long balls as much as West Ham did, this was rather unseemly to watch, especially for a manager who has been in the game for so long and has won so many accolades, to fall for something so infantine and juvenile as a comment and provide pages of documents showed that Van Gaal is definitely losing it at Manchester.
Stubborn and arrogant
Not that it matters to Van Gaal, it has always been about him and his team, and he gets the results not matter how the team plays. He will not be fazed by the fact that Manchester United are not playing well, he won’t care if his team does not score enough goals as long as he gets the target which was set at the start of the season.
Currently United are in third and could ensure Champions League football for next season but this is not a surety with so many teams playing well, like Spurs, Liverpool and Arsenal, who are all waiting for Manchester United to slip up.
Louis Van Gaal was brought in to do a job that is to get Manchester United back in the Champions League; he will try to get that done no matter what. Even during his tenure at Bayern Munich and Ajax, it is a known fact that he fell out with the club authorities and wasn’t the most liked person in the team. He has also had fallings out with players, so it should not come as a surprise if a player does have a go at Van Gaal during the course of this season, of course Van Gaal will not find that acceptable coming from his player.
Louis Van Gaal is the boss at Manchester United, whether someone likes it or not, he might get things done for the here and now but with him leading the team, there is no knowing how the future will go, that is a scary proposition for all Manchester United fans.