Have we been underestimating Van Gaal?
Lord knows van Gaal has taken a bashing from many fans, myself included. Our performances last season were very un-United, but we did get back into Europe which was one of van Gaal’s main priorities.
Last week I had an epiphany. This is not just because we beat Liverpool – they were terrible. No, the revelation came about when van Gaal, in a recent Executive Club event, claimed that he bought Anthony Martial not for himself, but for the next manager, and that youth was at the basis of his plans. Van Gaal has bought a number of young players, and he has also given opportunities to the likes of Januzaj, Wilson, McNair, Lingard, Pereira and Blackett.
So who would be the next United manager? Well it seems that van Gaal let the cat out of the bag in naming Ryan Giggs. Can we expect Ryan, the most decorated footballer in England, to take the reins after Louis departure in 2017? 93% of you think it’s a good idea.
Personally, I couldn’t understand why Mourinho didn’t get the job after Ferguson retired. He wanted it that’s for sure, as much as he claims that Chelsea is his choice and he loves the club. At the moment all is not well in the state of Stamford Bridge, and I wonder how long he will stay. I read recently that one of the reasons the board did not choose Mourinho was because he did not believe in the youth set up at Old Trafford. He was not prepared to bring on the talented young players that the academy are trying to progress to the first team. The fact that Chelsea, at this moment in time, has 28 players aged 23 or under out on loan proves the point.
Perhaps for the first time I am seeing what van Gaal’s vision is – to rebuild the team from the dying embers of greatness Ferguson left behind, laying the ground work for the next manager. He has always stated he has a three year contract with a three year plan and is willing to walk away once that plan comes to fruition, leaving a new and stronger United in place for Giggs to take over.
If this is the plan, then I guess we need to be patient. The flowers of Manchester may once again bloom if the focus on youth continues. With Nicky Butt the under twenty one’s coach, Gary Neville assistant coach for the national team no less, Phil Neville getting his experience in Europe with Valencia, and Scholes ready to begin coaching, the future looks very bright. I guess we just need to be patient while the phoenix brushes off the ashes and emerges great once again from the fiery pit of the Premier League and Europe.