Benitez at Liverpool, Klopp at Dortmund and now Van Gaal at Manchester United?
Some managers have an affinity with a club that goes beyond simple results. Of course, in a cut throat industry, three points are still the valuable bottom line. But the Manchester United fans have most definitely taken Louis van Gaal into their hearts.
In what has been a pretty poor season by Manchester United’s standards the bar has once more been lowered dramatically. The idea that Manchester United should target fourth place would have been laughable under Fergie. But such has been the chaos at Old Trafford since he left that this is now seen as a mark of progress.
If you look at Pardew at Palace, Monk at Swansea or Koeman at Southampton you can say that Van Gaal himself has been way down the list of Premier League performers too. Others have adapted to their new jobs much more quickly.
But Van Gaal took a very difficult job, at a club with expectations way higher than the current level of their players. He steadied the ship and showed himself to be a refreshingly open and transparent guy with real charisma.
The main difference between him and Moyes is that Van Gaal gives the impression that he knows what he’s doing – even when results don’t necessary back that up.
Another season like this and he surely won’t get the same support. But Van Gaal’s personality has bought him time and an open cheque book to really make a difference to the squad this summer. The signing of Memphis Depay is a great one but it won’t be the last.
Patience will wear thin if a team – which has been pretty awful apart from that spell in April – doesn’t improve massively next season. But Manchester United fans appreciate Louis because he wants to play the game in a spirit and style to which the fans have become accustomed.
Next season is crunch time for Louis.