Is Louis Van Gaal the right man for Manchester United?
David Moyes was fired just 10 months into his tenure as Manchester United manager and was replaced by Louis Van Gaal, a man with a proven track record at top European clubs and a man who has won trophies wherever he has gone. After suffering one of the worst seasons in recent memory, suddenly there is a sense of optimism around Old Trafford that a return to winning trophies is close. Exciting times are ahead at Manchester United.
The worst kept secret in world football was let out when the 20-time English champions announced that the current Dutch national team coach will take over the reigns at Old Trafford on a three-year deal when the World Cup is over in July. The Red Devils will be expecting that the Dutchman will take them back to the top of English football and keep them there for years to come whilst adding to a vast collection of trophies.
Here at IntoTheTopCorner, we have a look whether Van Gaal is the right man for Manchester United or not..
Career so far..
Van Gaal started his managerial career at Ajax and his early work with the Godenzonen is perhaps still his greatest achievement as a coach, with the Amsterdam club winning the Eredivisie in 1994, 1995, 1996, the KNBV Cup in 1993, the UEFA Cup (now the Europa League) in 1992, the UEFA Champions League in 1995 and runners up in 1996 as the Dutchman developed the talents of Patrick Kluivert, Edgar Davids, Edwin van der Sar, Clarence Seedorf, Michael Reiziger, Marc Overmars and many others who went on to become key players for their respective national teams.
After that Van Gaal headed to Spain and delivered back-to-back La Liga titles for Barcelona before falling out with press and players, and he left to coach Holland at the 2002 World Cup qualifiers. However, the Dutch national team failed to qualify for the first time since 1986 and he left the job in disappointing fashion. Van Gaal then, sensationally, returned to Barca at the start of the 2002-03 season but was sacked within six months as he left the Catalan giants just three points above the relegation zone after a string of defeats.
Those two disappointing spells – with the Netherlands national team and Barcelona – show that Van Gaal is after all a human being and is certainly not used to success every single season. He took a step back from Europe’s top teams and went back to his roots at AZ Alkmaar, where he started his career at the touchline as the assistant coach. It was those four years at AZ that Van Gaal turned the side into a Eredivise contender (finishing 2nd, 3rd, 11th and 1st) and a regular on the European circuit. After winning the league title in his fourth season, he then moved onto Bayern Munich in 2009. At Bayern, Van Gaal developed a strong core of youngsters from the academy and lead the Bavarian club to the Bundesliga title, the DFB-Pokal glory and the Champions League final where they lost to Inter Milan. His status as one of best coaches in world football had been restored and he then left a year later in 2012 to manage Holland after a poor season which saw Bayern finish outside the top three in the Bundesliga.
It is most likely that his final chapter will be in the Premier League and at Manchester United. His three-year deal will take him until the age of 65 and his objective is to win trophies. If he wins the Premier League title, Van Gaal will have four league titles in four of Europe’s biggest football nations to his name. That takes some doing. This challenge, however, is likely to be one of the toughest in his entire career and he is not guaranteed success, but he expects it. In a statement of United’s official website, the Dutchman said:
“It was always a wish for me to work in the Premier League. To work as a manager for Manchester United, the biggest club in the world, makes me very proud. I have managed in games at Old Trafford before and know what an incredible arena Old Trafford is and how passionate and knowledgeable the fans are. This club has big ambitions; I too have big ambitions. Together I’m sure we will make history.”