Louis Van Gaal was promptly sacked after he led his team to the FA Cup, with a 2-1 win against Crystal Palace. Despite his cup success, Van Gaal was criticised throughout his time at United but how will his time be remembered?

  • By Jake Chamberlain
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vn gaal mand jeThere was a lot of excitement around Old Trafford when Louis Van Gaal was appointed in 2014 replacing David Moyes as the manager of Manchester United. Having won trophies at every previous club, United fans believed they finally found a suitable replacement for Sir Alex Ferguson. In a mixed season for United, Van Gaal led them to a fourth place finish, three places and six points higher than the previous season. Although they suffered some disappointing results throughout the season, fans where still on Van Gaal’s side, due to the summer signings settling into the squad as well as the ex-Ajax manager adapting to the Premier League.

Coming into the 2015/2016 season Van Gaal made a further six signings including Memphis Depay and Anthony Martial. A solid start to the season meant United qualified for the group stages of the Champions League and top of the Premier League at the end of September. Unfortunately for United fans and LVG, their season went downhill from there, finishing third in the Champions League meaning dropping into the Europa League where they faced Liverpool in the round of 16 and where knocked out by their Premier League rivals. A six game run without a win led to rumours of Van Gaal stepping down as United boss, these rumours eventually led to nothing. Finishing in fifth place losing out on Champions League football to rivals Manchester City led to most United fans turning on Van Gaal and wanting him to either step down or to be sacked. The rumours of Jose Mourinho being interested in the United job certainly did not help LVG through this tough spell. Ending his disappointing time as manager of the English giants with an FA cup win was a bitter sweet moment for Van Gaal as his time at the club came to an end shortly after.

Apart from entertainment value, with his funny quotes and mispronunciation of teams and his own players, Van Gaal should be remembered for his ability to bring through youth players at Manchester United. The trust he had in those players throughout his last season was a pleasure to see. Marcus Rashford especially benefited from this, an unknown youth player is now on course to participate at the Euro’s for England and now an established first team player at Manchester United. This was largely down to the faith Van Gaal showed towards him and continued to pick him in important games, ones that he eventually excelled in. Other players to be given a chance this season include; Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Cameron Borthwick-Jackson and Jesse Lindgard. This has left the next manager with a lot of promising young players at his disposal who have already had a taste of the Premier League. Although if it is Jose Mourinho as expected, he is not known for his ability to bring youth players through. So with an FA cup win and the faith he has had in youth players and giving them opportunities which led to a potential star being discovered in Marcus Rashford, this is how Louis Van Gaal’s time at Manchester United should be remembered.

What’s next for Louis Van Gaal?

There have been recent reports of Van Gaal making a return to former club Ajax, this would be a great way to end his career, managing a team that is close to his heart. I believe after his spell at Manchester United and being 64, the chance of managing at the top again is unlikely. There has also been reports of him considering retirement, if this indeed is the case, what a career it has been for the flamboyant Dutchman. Winning the Eredivisie four times, a Bundesliga title, two La Liga titles and the Champions League to name a few of his managerial honours. If this is the last time we see Louis Van Gaal as a manager, what a pleasure it has been and he certainly will go down as one of the greats.

Jake Chamberlain (9 Posts)