From the ashes of David Moyes’ first season has risen a phoenix which doesn’t seem to be stopping any time soon from going higher and higher. Louis Van Gaal has transformed a Manchester United team from being the laugh of the last season to flavour of the season this time around. Be it, Van Gaal had the crazy money to spend to bring in players like Luke Shaw, Ander Herrera and Angel Di Maria and he also lost out as a lot of players with experience left the club.
Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra all left Old Trafford with no real suitable replacements either in terms of ability or experience, yet with a team that has often been called “top heavy” and “weak in the base”, United are in 3rd position although they are 10 points behind the leaders Chelsea at the half way point.
The funny bit about United doing well to be in third has been due to the old boys, especially their recent run of 8 unbeaten games. Rooney, Van Persie and De Gea have all been excellent in the first half of the season, even the young players like McNair have chipped in well to ensure Manchester United stay on the right path. United have not been playing the best of football but results are all that matters for the club and getting back into the UEFA Champions League next season.
The 2nd half of the season should be better for United
The first 6 months of the Louis Van Gaal era hasn’t been the great football that you expect a Manchester United team to play but they have been lucky and effective in getting results. There have been games where United have not been the better side yet they have come out with the win. That is the hallmark of a championship winning team, they might not be close to winning the league currently but grinding out results is something that is always a trait to be instilled into a team.
While Manchester United haven’t been playing great football, recent results and performances have been on the up, their performance against Liverpool and Spurs showed that when United click, they do click really well. Mainly due to Wayne Rooney’s deeper position and the fact that the wingbacks have been helping out both in attack and defence.
Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young have been given a new lease of life with their new roles as wing backs and Louis Van Gaal seems to have instilled the confidence in both the players, who often looked out of place last season.
The second half of the season would be something to relish for Manchester United fans, they should become better as they are now playing with more or less a fixed XI, not too many rotations, that has been helped by the fact that many expensive players have been out for long. While the team gels together, there is some good news that players like Angel Di Maria, Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw are all chomping at the bit to get back into the first team.
That will only help the squad play better and give them options in attack or defence during the remainder of the season. Another factor to help United would be that the other two sides, Chelsea and Manchester City will have to play European games and other Cup games, while Manchester United just have to play the FA Cup games.
That will lead to the other two to deal with fatigue and injuries and as seen last week both teams drew against opposition which they might have beaten otherwise, fatigue and games will play a lot into Manchester United’s hands and that is a big bonus for Louis Van Gaal and his men.
Louis Van Gaal stated recently that Manchester United are trying to win the league, while people might have scoffed a bit, if the top teams keep dropping points then you never know. Manchester United are notorious for making those great late runs to the title and the second half of the season is always the strongest time for United, this just might be a great end to the season for United in 2015.