Even if Manchester United part company with Louis van Gaal at the end of this season – as seems increasingly likely – we feel strongly that he will be remembered fondly by the Manchester United faithful.
Because Louis van Gaal, the man, is a class act. He’s endeared himself to the fans with his wholehearted approach, superb PR skills with the media despite the obvious language barrier and his respect for the club – he has never missed an opportunity to remind the media of what a huge club Manchester United is.
But, in football terms, he is failing at Manchester United.
We have already referred countless times to managers like Ronald Koeman and particularly Jurgen Klopp – but with good reason.
Because these guys made an immediate impact on Southampton and Liverpool. Sure, Koeman has found it hard to stay at the top in the face of constant player sales. And Klopp has lost two games that he should have won during his dozen in charge.
But their arrivals signalled immediate, positive changes in style and results at the clubs. And their styles are clear to see. What’s more they have both improved their respective clubs on a tight budget. Klopp has yet to spend a penny and Koeman’s transfer business is showing a surplus.
In the last 18 months at Old Trafford there has been no discernible improvement at all. Under Louis van Gaal Manchester United seem to have slowly lost their identity. And they have spent over £200m in the process. Surely for £200m you should expect a bit of flair, speed of play and drive? Or at least one genuine A-lister? How long are we expected forLouis’s ‘process’ to bear fruit?
Louis’s tactics are possession based. But, at best, the players look uncomfortable on the field and at worst they look clueless under the Dutchman.
When we think about LvG’s style at Manchester United, we immediately picture ‘Mike’ Smalling passing the ball 5 yards sideways to Daley Blind. Then Blind pops is back again. Then United run out of ideas. And that’s it really. That sadly sums LvG’s time at Manchester United.
Lovely guy. But his methods are dated and it’s time for a change.