Louis Van Gaal Certainly Had A High Opinion Of Himself Even While Failing At Manchester United

Posted: October 8, 2017 in Arsenal, Chelsea, Football, Managers, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion
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Continuing our delve into past articles written for other publications, today we look at one from a couple of years ago in which we thought Louis van Gaal may have been exaggerating his achievements at Old Trafford.

Most of the article is factual but we are quite pleased with our view on how it would all turn out as it was, in our insignificant opinion, pretty accurate. Anyway, here it is.

HAS LOUIS VAN GAAL IMPROVED MANCHESTER UNITED?

(First published on December 11th, 2015 in Pundit Arena)

Louis van Gaal has stated that facts prove his Manchester United side this year is better than the team last year.

I won’t go down the road of disputing facts, there can only be one winner there. Whether or not they prove that the team is better than last year is debatable, circumstances have certainly been different.

Yes, they went further in the Capital One Cup than they did last term but I would hardly call a defeat at home to a Championship team an improvement, not when nearly £300 million has been spent. Maybe an improvement having spent that amount of money would be winning it!

As they weren’t in the Champions League last year then yes, that has been an improvement, obviously. So let’s compare with the year before that. David Moyes took United to the quarter-finals having spent about £28 million.

He qualified from a group containing Bayer Leverkusen, Shakhtar Donetsk and Real Sociedad. United won four games and drew two. This was a group of similar quality to the one which Van Gaal has just failed to qualify from.

They then beat Olympiacos in the first knockout stage before losing to Bayern Munich. So with United in Europe, Van Gaal is not even as good as David Moyes, who had previously been involved in the Champions League just once.

By the end of August of this year, when the Dutchman had been in charge of fifty games, he had the same amount of wins as Moyes (27).

So, if he wants to be factual, United are better placed in the Premier League than last year. He conveniently forgets, however, that they probably wouldn’t be if Chelsea weren’t having such a disastrous season. In addition to this, if Liverpool and Tottenham continue their improvements, they might not be in such a lofty position by the end of the season.

Since arriving at Old Trafford, Van Gaal has dispensed with the services of a number of players. These include: Rafael, Jonny Evans, Danny Welbeck, Javier Hernandez, Nani, Robin van Persie, Alexander Buttner, Tom Cleverley, Anders Lindegaard and Darren Fletcher. He has also loaned out Adnan Januzaj and James Wilson. From these players I think I could pick a team which would beat the current one.

This doesn’t mean he was wrong to have a clear out and make room for new players. It means that, in general, the players he has brought in are no better than the players who have departed.

In a previous post I suggested that Van Gaal was looking to win a trophy in the short-term as he probably isn’t going to be there very long. I still think this is the case but I am not sure he is going about it the right way.

The only player with any real experience brought in has been Bastian Schweinsteiger. If Van Gaal is looking for a Premier League trophy or even a Champions League trophy, then he needs leaders. He needs players with experience of winning these competitions. Schweinsteiger is a good player but he wasn’t good enough for Bayern Munich any longer.

United are also rumoured to be trying to bring Cristiano Ronaldo back. Whilst I agree that he would be a good short-term signing, they will likely only get him if and when Real Madrid no longer want him.

So United need to stop thinking about players no longer wanted by the other big clubs and start being leaders again. United should have a team full of players who are coveted by others, not full of players who can’t even qualify from a very average Champions League group.

The simple question when trying to decide how good this United team is, is this: how many of United’s players would be first choice at Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich or PSG? Being even more realistic, how many of them would get into the team at Chelsea or Manchester City?

The way it is going we will soon be able to include Leicester City in these lists.

What do you think? Were we accurate or did we get it wrong? Let us know below.

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Comments
    • Editor says:

      Thank you for another insightful and eloquently expressed opinion. However, the article only quotes facts and our opinion, it doesn’t actually profess to give anything remotely resembling “news”. So may we suggest that you read it again or, more likely, for the first time, and come up with something a little more imaginative.

      Like

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