Relief! That’s the overwhelming feeling I had when I read that Manchester United have finally sacked Louis van Gaal. As an ardent fan of the Red Devils, I was terrified to think what would happen to my favourite team if the Dutchmen continued for another year. The sideways passing, a lack of creativity and no bone-shattering tackles (God Bless Roy Keane) would have made for another year of boring football. But as they say, there’s always light at the end of the tunnel (in this case it’s hopefully Jose Mourinho). So now, I can look forward to the future with renewed optimism.
Speaking of optimism, not all of what Van Gaal did was bad. Although it took me a while to put aside the pain that the departing Dutchman has inflicted upon us United fans, I managed to pull through. Read on for the 5 biggest positives from Louis van Gaal’s reign at Manchester United
1) Promoting the youth
This has been by far LvG’s most important contribution, and perhaps the only thing he did that resembled what Man United have always stood for. By choice or necessity, Van Gaal promoted a number of talented youngsters to the first team and most of them, if not all, have impressed.
Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, Paddy McNair, Regan Poole, Tyler Blackett were all players who were given their debuts by the Dutchman renowned for pushing youth through. But the one player that stole the limelight has been Marcus Rashford.
The lanky 18-year-old Mancunian has taken the Premier League by storm scoring a brace on debut against Arsenal and following that up with the winner against rivals Manchester City. With United clearly lacking ideas up top, Rashford has come in as a breath of fresh air.
His rise has been so staggering that England manager Roy Hodgson has put him in the preliminary squad for Euros, and it won’t be surprising, to us United fans at least if he gets on the plane to represent his country at the continent’s biggest football extravaganza.
One could also assume that without Rashford’s goals, Van Gaal might have gotten the sack much earlier. But let bygones be bygones and give credit where it’s due. Louis van Gaal might have done a lot of things wrong at United, but this is one thing that he definitely got right. Hopefully, the incoming manager will continue to give these youngsters ample opportunity.