Van Gaal's Herculean Task At Manchester United

Joel Amorim Jul 29, 2014 No Comment 44,081 views

The 2013-14 season was surely the most painful campaign United supporters had to support, let’s say, in the past twenty years. The team ended on the seventh place of the English Premier League and thus will not be a part of any European football this season, something that is truly surreal if one considers United’s glorious campaign over the last two decades.

Will Van Gaal be able to restore United's pride this season?
Will Van Gaal be able to restore United's pride this season?

The departure of Sir Alex Ferguson left the Red Devils’ vessel on the hands of another Scottish skipper, David Moyes, who never looked capable of navigating to safe waters right from the beginning of the season. United’s new boss, the charismatic Dutch head coach Louis Van Gaal, is the heir of the heavy burden left by the Scottish manager last term and he will certainly need to tidy up the house properly before he can even consider aiming for higher peaks.

Apart from the psychological aspects, which will undeniably take some time to repair, Moyes left behind a tactical abyss imprinted in the team. No one was ever really capable of understanding what his tactical intents at United last season were, especially since every single one of his approaches seemed a complete mess.The 4-2-3-1 formation lacked connection between the team’s lines and his 4-4-2 lacked almost everything, especially intensity. Van Gaal will need to start from scratch on the tactical department because there isn’t anything he can take from last season’s nightmarish campaign. The Dutch head coach, who clearly seems to enjoy 3-5-2 or 5-3-2 formations, will need to dig very deep to “sow” those tactical seeds in a team that lost all the frail structure that was still left behind after a full season lacking proper leadership, both from the coaching team and from the board panel, the first only abandoning ship after everything was already doomed and lost and the latter sticking to their guns until the very end.

Van Gaal is a fantastic head coach and his curriculum speaks for himself, especially if we look at what he achieved with Ajax back in the 1990s. Nevertheless, the Dutch manager is aware of the troubled waters he will face during his first stint in English football, as he himself admitted in a recent interview that it would be fairly easier to have inherited a winning team, as was the one from Sir Alex Ferguson, instead of a team that was an utter failure last term and that is completely torn apart.

Van Gaal will fortunately not have to face the Hounds of Hell (at least, literally) but his task of rebuilding a new and strong Manchester United will be nothing short of Herculean.

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