The Nightmare That Seemingly Ended On A High
Posted by Jordan Clarke | Published on May 22, 2016
‘Manchester United are the biggest club in the world’, the words spoken of the newly appointed Dutchman as he set his eyes on a successful tenure in England, which ultimately, has ended in something far from that.
The words of Louis Van Gaal came as music to the ears of disheartened Manchester United fans after their beloved club fell to 7th in the Premier League table under Scotsman David Moyes, off the back of a 2012/2013 title winning season. Hypnotised into thinking better times were ahead, they quite literally, have become worse.
So how did Manchester United’s saviour turn into a nightmare from hell?
Manchester United’s identity, especially under the days of Sir Alex Ferguson, was based on fast, counter-attacking football joined with the fear of ruthlessness in front of goal. The Theatre Of Dreams became a destiny for failure for any club attempting to ruin the glory that the Old Trafford faithful became expecting of, whoever they played. It was in the clubs blood they said, Manchester United through and through, never to be changed. But it was.
Louis Van Gaal’s type of football not only bored fans, but it bored himself. A third round victory in the FA Cup, which Van Gaal has now won, led to the Dutchman to openly admit how bored he had become watching his team. For the manager of a club with the stature of Manchester United, admitting his disinterest while watching his team perform, oozes how bad the situation was, and worsening.
Manchester United led the statistics for the most Premier League backwards passes by quite a distance, with 3,222, the club’s ways had been transformed. Set up with the intention of keeping clean sheets, millions of fans across the world had to bear watching this uncreative United team, which was enough to send some to sleep, despite the noise of 75,000 people. Not only did loyal Mancunian’s have to witness this, but United only just beat Bournemouth for goals scored, despite Bournemouth’s main goalscorer Calum Wilson being injured, which quite frankly, is shocking.
An exit from the Champions League in what was thought of as a relatively easy group for a club like Manchester United didn’t help Van Gaal’s defence, losing to Wolfsburg 3-2, in which a win would have sent United through. This type of ‘bottling’ frequently occurred as Manchester United lost to fierce rivals Liverpool throughout the two European legs, in what was called the biggest game of the season for the Red Devils. Of course, how could I forget? Just when it seemed Manchester United & Louis Van Gaal were given one last lifeline, securing Champions League spot for a second year running if they managed to get past West Ham’s farewell at the Boleyn and Bournemouth at Old Trafford, but you guessed it, they didn’t.
This constant bottling in big games had to raise questions about Van Gaal’s ability to motivate and indeed if the players wanted to play under the manager himself. A man who has admitted before the size of his ego had very little presence in the dressing room and failed to show his ability and experience throughout his managerial career. The presence of Jose Mourinho however, well that became more enticing for Manchester United fans than ever before.
Louis Van Gaal does, however, deserve credit for using the old Manchester United philosophy through to upbringing of youngsters Marcus Rashford, Fosu-Mensah and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson. Not to forget, Louis Van Gaal was the ma who purchased Anthony Martial. Many people believe he was forced into it, but so what? If anything Van Gaal has delivered a pre-ready team for the next manager, one capable of winning silverware, as he has shown. Van Gaal has served a platform for oncoming things at Manchester United and he must be thanked for that, okay he wasn’t the right man to take on this squad, but, under the right manager, the future of Manchester United football club can and will be bright.
It was a fitting send off, for a man who has dealt with six months of constantly being sacked by the media. Yes, £5million will help him take it all in, but if his time here at United hasn’t been a success, it can be classed as one if the club returns to its normal self. Edging three decades ago a certain man called Alex Ferguson’s career was saved by an FA Cup win, now it looks like it is too little too late for the Dutchman, but this group of players have tasted success now, many whom are inexperienced, have now gained that extra little bit of experience. Their hunger will grow for more magical moments like yesterday and Manchester United’s revival could be fast approaching under new manager, Jose Mourinho, should he be appointed.
I, however, will miss Louis Van Gaal on the basis on yesterday. The man who wildly celebrated Jesse Lingard’s winner, the man who gave up his time for the fans whenever approached. There’s no doubt he has had a glorious career in the managerial world, and i wish him well in his retirement. But, football isn’t the same anymore, it’s a business. Manchester United have been known for their ruthleness and it’s the way we must return. The appointment of Jose Mourinho shows the clubs ambition, as they aim to make the step forward in their revival. But, for Mr Louis Van Gaal, it was never meant to be.
Thank you, Louis,
For all the good things you did.