When Manchester United signed 64-year-old Louis van Gaal as the man to lead them into a new direction after the David Moyes fiasco, no one expected the side to turn things around in a year. But there were expectations that Van Gaal would make them the dominating force they once were under Sir Alex Ferguson.
Following in the steps of the legendary Scotsman is what got Moyes ultimately fired and well Louis van Gaal was saved from the sack due to his performance last year in the league as the side just about made it into the Champions League.
That was the first season; this season was all about pushing into the top two and trying to wrestle the Premier League title from the hands of Chelsea but that hasn’t kicked off due to a range of reasons.
Too many ins and outs
Angel Di Maria, one of the most expensive players in the world was sent off packing to Paris to play for PSG and to be honest; he is thriving there while he was struggling in the Premier League or more importantly under Louis van Gaal.
Even strikers such as Javier Hernandez and Robin van Persie were let go off and the former stars are doing exceptionally well at their respective clubs
Manchester United aren’t any close to winning the league this time around as they sit in the fifth position, just a point behind Manchester City in the race for the top-four positions and with City still having European commitments, the Red Devils could sneak into the qualifying spots for club football’s greatest competition.
Apart from all that has gone wrong at United, the talk of no tactics or identity of the play or the fact that United are struggling in attack, Louis van Gaal hasn’t done the worst job and with one more year left on his contract, he should be allowed to stay, rather than get replaced by Jose Mourinho.
A lot of good done by the Dutchman
Louis van Gaal certainly has weeded a number of players out of the club, whether that is justified or not, he is trying to set his own benchmark in the team with a group of players he can trust. Daley Blind, Marcos Rojo, Matteo Darmian and Bastian Schweinsteiger are some of the players that have stepped up on various occasions for the boss.
Having players who trust you and are willing to go that extra mile is something that was missing under David Moyes but that isn’t the case regularly here. Yes, you do get some mediocre performances but Van Gaal is mentally strong character and more often than not, he clears all this up with his players and ensures they do not make the same mistakes twice.
His belief in the youth system at United is incredible as well; players such as Love, Borthwick-Jackson, Fosu-Mensah, Lingard and Rashford are regularly getting playing time. This could be due to the injuries and lack of form from some of the first teamers but this still is a great way forward for the team.
United were known for their youth policy and that is exactly what Van Gaal is tapping into at the moment. Sure players aren’t doing extremely well under the gaffer at least in terms of attack, but they have one of the meanest defences in the world and a player such as Chris Smalling is seen as one of the best in the land. Not many would have expected that.
A better defence, a better youth policy and continued Champions League football? Manchester United are notoriously hard to beat in the second half of the season and Van Gaal certainly can get them higher than fourth in the Premier League table.
Who knows what he could do next season but he should remain in the job, anything less than the title would be deemed as a failure but Van Gaal has got some things working for him and it would only be a matter of time, if he has it, before he does lift a big title with United.