He’s never seen without it on match days and scribbles in it feverishly at times. But, with serious questions being asked about the philosophy of Louis van Gaal, what is actually going into his famous notebook? Is there a clear strategy or is the book simply a crutch that he turns to when he can’t bare to watch the pedestrian rubbish on the park?
There are no guarantees in football, but we remain firmly behind Louis in his quest to turn Manchester United back into a champion team.
That said, we do believe that he has been surprised by the quality and style of The Premier League. There is no hiding away from the fact that Louis was expecting to have made a big difference to this team by now. He talks about a process but, privately, he knows that it shouldn’t have taken this long to turn things around.
We would go as far as to say that Louis has been a little stumped of late. There has been no discernible improvement in the playing style since Christmas and expectations have dropped so sharply that a top four place would now be seen as the dream scenario this season. But few Manchester United fans feel confident about it happening, with other teams looking more convincing and a difficult run in ahead for the team.
It is hoped that Manchester United will rise to the challenge of the huge matches ahead. Perhaps the prospect of big clashes will raise them from their slumber. Individually, United have a competitive squad. But defensive weaknesses have undermined the team and the biggest stars haven’t gelled.
The Dutchman’s immediate priorities will be to get the ball from back top front more quickly – United aren’t breaking down the opposition with any conviction or speed right now. He will also want to focus on his big hitters. Di Maria, Falcao and Rooney can get United into the top 4 come May if they are firing.
Beyond that, he will be readying himself for another summer of sweeping personnel changes. Mata looks like a dead man walking at Manchester United. So too does Radamel unless his form improves vastly. And the use of Fellaini as a number ten seems like an emergency measure rather than a long term solution.
Just like the fans, Louis will be desperate to get over the line with a top four finish and then make a much more serious push next season.
Manchester United fans: Is Louis the man for United?