Louis Van Gaal, Don’t Play The Man, Play The Odds!
Last season, Manchester United kept troll football world and banter pages on social media quite busy, by their extravagant performance in the English Premier League.
After Sir Alex Ferguson, it was the “Chosen One”, as they gladly called him, David Moyes, former Everton boss, who took over the legacy of Manchester United as their manager. Under his guidance, United managed to keep themselves out of the top four in the points table, Unfortunately, the chosen one was sacked by the end of the season and Ryan Giggs was appointed as the interim manager.
Then, it was the time for the ‘Dutch Sensation’, The one after the chosen one, Louis Van Gaal, the man who led the Dutch national team to the FIFA World Cup 2014 Semi-Finals, to carry the legacy forward. He gladly accepted the job and the United fans raised their hopes and were excited for the new era of Manchester United. However, many of them still had some questions in their mind,
– Who is Van Gaal?
– Is he the perfect choice?
– Are the glory days coming back or do we have to stop supporting Manchester United and support any other club?
Aloysius Paulus Maria van Gaal, better known as, Louis van Gaal has a vast experience of managing European giants such as Ajax, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and even the Netherlands national team. After many brief spells as a coach, he is currently managing Manchester United.
• WELCOME TO OLD TRAFFORD LOUIS!!
Van Gaal was confirmed to replace David Moyes on May 19, 2014 and signed a three-year contract coming into effect after the FIFA World Cup 2014. He named Ryan Giggs as his assistant manager. Fans accepted and welcomed him, and expectations were very high from the new manager. He did fulfill their expectations with the pre-season glory and so many even call him as “The Pre-season one”.
He did not have a successful transfer window, initially, but he managed to sign in sensational footballing personas. Many players were linked to Manchester United when the transfer window was open, such as Thomas Muller, Arjen Robben, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Juan Cuadrado, Mats Hummels, Arturo Vidal, Cesc Fabregas and many more.
However, he was unable to sign in any of the targets and finally roped in the 25 year old Spanish origin, former Athletic Bilbao mid-fielder Ander Herrera for £29 million. After the departure of Patrice Evra, United felt a void in the left back and would have opted for a world class left back in his place. Southampton’s wonder kid and childhood Chelsea supporter, 18 years old Luke Shaw was then targeted, and Van Gaal signed him in for £30 million and made him the costliest young player in the British transfer history.
August 26, 2014 turned out to be the day every United fan dreamed of. After many blunders in the transfer market, Van Gaal finally signed the unsettled Real Madrid and Argentine winger Angel Di Maria on a five-year contract for a huge amount of £59.7 million setting a new record for a signing by an English club and taking the club’s summer spending to a reported £130 million.
On transfer deadline day, Van Gaal signed Daley Blind from Ajax for £14 million and was granted an extension to sign Radamel Falcao on loan from AS Monaco for a reported £6 million. They were also expecting to lure in Cristiano Ronaldo to come back to Manchester United, which wasn’t on the cards for Van Gaal.
• ALL SET FOR THE SEASON
Van Gaal commenced as the United manager in the pre-season tour and had a successful one by beating LA Galaxy 7-0 and by winning the 2014 International Champions Cup by beating rivals Liverpool 3-1 on August 4, 2014. United fans held their heads high and were expecting a glorious season at English Premier League.
With the likes of Wayne Rooney, Robin Van Persie, Angel Di Maria, Radamel Falcao and Juan Mata lined up in the attack and a series of easy fixtures at the beginning of the season like Swansea City, Sunderland, Burnley, QPR, Leicester and West Ham United, all expected a bright start.
However, tables turned up upside down for Van Gaal and the United supporters. He lost his first official game in charge, a 2-1 home defeat to Swansea City in the opening match of the Premier League season. United was able to grasp only 8 points out of a possible 18 and struggling since then. They faced a heavy defeat, 4-0 on August 26, 2014 against a League One side Milton Keynes Dons in the second round of the League Cup and were thrashed out of the Capital One Cup with this humiliating loss.
• WHAT WENT WRONG AND WHERE DO THEY LACK?
Arguably, Manchester United has the best attacking frontline in English Premier League with huge names in the line up. But they have conceded a lot of goals against small teams like Leicester City and Swansea City. Van Gaal uses his trademark formation 3-4-3, which is not suitable in leagues such as EPL, where 7 to 8 teams are battling out for glory unlike La Liga, Bundesliga or Eredvise where only 2 to 3 teams battle for the title. According to me, they have a weak and immature defense line as; Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Luke Shaw and Rafael Da Silva are unable to resist the attacking nature of other EPL teams.
United drew 2-2 against West Bromwich after which Van Gaal had to go through the press conference. Few excerpts below:
“Can we catch Chelsea? That’s possible, but it is difficult to say. But I am arrogant because I have done it a lot of times. Now, we have to play against Chelsea. In the Netherlands, they say, that is another cookie. I don’t know if in English it is like that. It is another biscuit. You don’t understand? It’s another level”.
He also added, “I think Chelsea is another level and Manchester City also, so we have to see if we can beat them and after the matches I can say yes or no.”
He seems to be very confident and still believes United can catch up Chelsea in the Premier League title race as he prepares for a potentially pivotal four weeks at Manchester United. Whereas, The Blues are unbeaten and are comfortably on the top with a cushion of 5 points above second-placed Manchester City. Sunday, October 26, 2014 will prove whether Van Gaal will be able to stand by his words, when Chelsea travel to Old Trafford to play United.
Simultaneously, Louis Van Gaal and United fans had to go through a lot of humiliation with their performances so far. The troll football and banter pages are busy showing off their creativity while Van Gaal and his team keep feeding the fuel to them.
Check out the best Louis van Gaal’s joke tweets below:
Manchester United fans getting excited about drawing with West Brom, ohh how times have changed.
— Arsenal News ⚽️ (@__arsenalnews_) October 20, 2014
Louis Van Gaal isn't signing autographs..
He's signing some better players from the crowd
— Football Jokes (@FootyGags) August 26, 2014
And don’t forget to watch this video:
Edited By: Harshal Ahire