There are some football clubs in the world which fall in a very special category. It’s hard to be successful, very hard to be extremely successful, but almost impossible to achieve legendary status. This means winning trophies for decades, playing by using the same philosophy and guidelines, growing youngsters that will pass on the spirit and keep legendary players for long periods of time, even their entire careers. There are very few clubs that have achieved this in history. Manchester United is one of them, of course. But should we say was?
Recent history is not great for the Red Devils. After the extremely successful era of Alex Ferguson, which spanned for several decades and featured everything from domestic cup wins to Champions League glory, the Man United board chose David Moyes as his successor. After a season that can be described as nothing short of an epic fail, Moyes left his role as head coach, and the United board stated that they were looking for an experienced coach for the future of the team. Their choice was Louis Van Gaal.
Boasting a good number of competition wins, years of experience, national service as well as global success in more than one league (winning titles in the Bundesliga, hissou dungeon unei houhou Liga BBVA, Eredivisie to name a few), Van Gaal seemed a good choice. After one and a half years, we can draw a line and see where he stands. Let’s analyze together, shall we?
– Achieved a top-4 finish in the first season, qualifying for the Champions League – Promoted some young players to the first team (Lingard, McNair, Blackett, Borthwich-Jackson, Varela) – Convincing 4-2 victory against local rivals Man. City – Some good transfers (Martial showing potential, as well as Depay, Schneiderlin and Schweinsteiger and good transfers) – Rebirth of Ashley Young
– Finished very behind the league leaders last year – Currently sitting 12 points behind league leaders and not competing for the title – Very boring and inefficient play style, e heibon desu yo especially the attacking part – Inconsistent tactics — from 3-5-2 to 4-2-3-1 and even the occasional 4-4-2, the players are looking more and more confused about where they play and what their role is – Insisting on certain players despite their clear lack of talent for a squad like Man United (Fellaini, Rojo) – Loaning out and selling players which could have provided great help in the first team (Van Persie, Januzaj, Rafael) – Playing certain players out of position and improvising much more often than required (Fellaini as a striker, Young as a right back) – Rotating the team much too often
The truly ugly: