The beauty of football is that it can flummox even the greatest pundits with its sheer unpredictability.
Just a matter of weeks ago The Telegraph ran an article entitled Have any Manchester United players improved under Louis van Gaal?. It included a withering assessment of most of Manchester United’s players. And this highly respected newspaper wasn’t alone in its criticism.
But Louis always asked for time to allow his methods to work and how things have changed in the last month. We look at Louis’s best work fro Manchester United.
Long-term Young haters (including, we have to admit, soccersweep) are eating huge slices of humble pie now as Young, rightfully on current form, keeps £60m man Angel di Maria on the bench. Young is in the form of his life and LvG has essentially given the boy confidence to attack again. He’s a pure athlete who seldom gives the ball away and is a real threat to opposition defences with his right footed crosses from the left – the man of the moment completely outshone David Silva and Jesus Navas on Sunday.
It’s as if a world-class footballer has possessed Marouane Fellaini and discreetly eaten the Belgian from the inside out. Where has this amazing technique come from? He’s now indispensable to Manchester United and his range of functions is bettered only by Wayne Rooney.
He seems to have added dynamism and pace to his game over the last 6 weeks. Like Young, he is another who seems to be facing forwards much more and attacking defences instead of making safe sideways passes.
Smalling looked like Bambi on ice at Christmas. Now he looks better than Vincent Kompany. He has the electric pace to cover his defence brilliantly and even pops up with the odd goal.
We always felt that he had quality but he’s finally ironing the unforced errors out of his game. The next John Terry for England?
Manchester United fans: who has improved most at the club?