Dale O’Donnell from Manchester United fan site Strettynews.com gives us his opinion on Louis van Gaal’s start as coach of the Premier League giants.

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I decided to write a piece on Louis van Gaal after Football Oranje used Twitter to ask Manchester United fans for their thoughts on the new manager. A minority, I would argue, already want him sacked judging on the
initial tweet:

“It seems there is actually Manchester United fans on our notifications that want van Gaal out. Really?”

Bizarre. It’s only November and you have people question a European Cup winner that has domestic titles in 3 different countries by comparing him to the previously sacked David Moyes, who by the way has won nothing.

Those comparing are looking at statistics from last season. They sit in their room searching for figures that make their agendas stand, but in truth it does quite the opposite and sounds utterly ridiculous.

The main argument focussing totally on Manchester United is how Moyes took over a side that won the league and turned the club into a 7th place misery. Then when they access van Gaal it is as if they’re completely forgetting where he has to pick up from while introducing a heavy loaded philosophy.

It doesn’t happen over night.

So far this season there have been encouraging signs. The manager talks like a Manchester United manager and has to deal with the misfortune of countless injuries, making it even more difficult to introduce methods his players are unfamiliar with.

You need reason to believe in someone doing a job successfully and last season there was too much blind faith surrounding Old Trafford. ‘He’s just like Fergie. They’re both Scottish and…’ And? I’ll save you the rest because they had very little in common.

However, there are a few similar traits between Ferguson and van Gaal. Apart from them both being reckless winners, if either walked into a room you would stand up and give complete attention. They’re inspirations that go about their ways very different to other managers.

Winners clash with winners. It’s happened regularly at Manchester United and while it has its shock factor once it occurs, it should not come as a surprise. Ferguson had spats with Roy Keane, Ruud van Nistelrooy, David Beckham and others. All for different reasons but it gained control within the dressing room.

Louis van Gaal, on the other hand, didn’t have the greatest of relationships with Barcelona under his managements and he even went on to blame Rivaldo for his release.

The Dutchman wanted to sell the player previously but Barcelona president Josep Lluís Núñez prevented that from happening. That immediately undermines a manager who has a damning opinion towards one of his squad members. For instance, Van Gaal thought Rivaldo lacked commitment to the club and was only interested in making more money while playing less.

If something like that was brought up at United, you wouldn’t have presidents overstepping the line. In the dressing room nobody is bigger than the manager but I didn’t get that feeling last season. This year I do.

Right now we are not seeing total football and attacking flair as expected, so there are fans questioning van Gaal’s philosophy. The squad is picking up more injuries than hot dinners and that is delaying the squad’s progress. But still, and I say this when all clubs go through transitions, you can have no excuse for not winning games. Win them ugly if that’s the only answer and confidence will without a doubt grow.

Before bringing you to the conclusion, another observation I have spotted is when we score the entire team is involved in the celebration. The players are putting in shifts for one another and it’s a much happier dressing room.

It’s inevitable that things will click and United, under Louis van Gaal, will march onto success. The club need to continue trusting him in the transfer window and recruit the best young talents in the world again. Fans need to be patient because when the jigsaw comes together we will be on top again.




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