Is Van Gaal all that?

I’m finding it hard to not keep repeating myself of late. I think we feel this is more desperate than it was under Moyes as we’ve already had one season out of the Champions League. Two we can’t handle. We’ve spent an obscene amount on players. I’m  a walking contradiction. I see the issues and I look to the man in charge to fix those. That’s his job. He’s got the history and pedigree that means he’s more than capable of doing this mammoth task of not only getting United back into the top four. That’s the absolute minimum. But in reality, we need to be making appearances in the final four of the Champions League, winning the Premier League or at least consistently challenging. That’s what Sir Alex has ingrained into this club and that’s the expectation we have as supporters.

I’ve tried to come up with an obvious solution. I can see the issue in front of us laid bare. It’s easy for all to see. But as to how we make the change? I don’t know. I’m torn between ‘we’re not far away’ and ‘we need a drastic change’. The injuries have killed us. But we probably played our best when we had our backs against the wall. Since everyone has come back we’ve gotten worse. How’s that even work? It’s getting very like last season under Moyes. Last season I was happy to see Moyes given the boot. That he’d been given ample time, in my eyes and we’d seen no progress. Well today I’m saying we don’t follow what we did last season. I said we don’t give time for the sake of it, we give the right man the time. LVG is that man. There’s a different feel and demeanor to the team and the club under Louis, despite a near identical points tally.

I think one simple, yet fundamental change that is easy to implement is the formation. We don’t know the reason behind why LVG uses 352, we likely never will know the true reason, if it’s something like ‘I don’t trust or rate that central defence’. But we have to stop with the pointless possession in the defence. I think it was LVG who said when Spain played Holland at the World Cup, he’s happy to let them have the ball in the defence, because it doesn’t hurt you. So all the Dutch players sat deep and waited for phase 2 of the attack when it was moved into midfield and the forwards. He needs to heed his own advice. A switch back to 433 or 442 or 4231 or whatever you decide to call it this week. Is going to provide us with an extra bloke in midfield. I want to see us get Herrera on the ball, Blind too. Intelligent footballers who I think can run a game. Do they need a ‘destroyer’ next to them? Maybe. A dynamic, quick, aggressive, yet technically proficient player like Strootman is going to make this team instantly better. Ditto Vidal. But we’re going to need to make some tough changes. Senior players have been carried in this team, under Fergie and under Moyes for far too long. I wanna see some ruthlessness brought into our selection. Van Gaal seems the sort to quickly jettison those surplus to requirements and I think any planned pruning is going to include at LEAST one fan favorite. Di Maria, Rooney, Falcao, RVP, Mata. Can’t play in the same team, especially if you want to play Herrera and Blind. And we do. Or we should. These players aren’t the type to sit on the bench, nor are they the kind of player who would do well coming OFF the bench.

So, as much as it pains me to say it. I think I would try to offload the following. Jones, Carrick, Mata, & RVP.
Jones because I don’t think he’s mentally aware enough of what’s going on around him. He doesn’t read the game like you’d expect a player of so called United calibre.
Carrick, I used to love Carrick. I love those workhorse type of player that does technical things really well. The last couple of seasons have rocked his confidence, though, and I think in Daley Blind we’ve a younger, maybe more positive version of Carrick. I don’t think they can play together, so I’d move him on.
Mata. I almost pissed my pants with excitement when we signed him. I still rate him very highly. But Rooney as Captain and Di Maria as record buy are going to trump him on all occasions where there’s a decision to make. Too good to rot, I’d rather move him on and get some of his fee back.
RVP, again a player I really like. He’s becoming quite a nasty bastard and I like that, we need that. But if we’re to keep Falcao and Rooney and I think we will, then he’s not the kind of player to sit out and I don’t think he’d be happy playing 1/3rd of games.

Others that I’d either move on or keep but let them know they’re not first choice would be Evans, Fletcher and Smalling. If Rafael gets fit then he’s a very good player, so he gets a reprieve, but his time may come soon, too, if he doesn’t get and stay fit.

Be it summer or winter transfer window, what I’d like to see us move toward is this;

Rafael Hummels Rojo Shaw
Strootman Herrera
Di Maria
Rooney Falcao

It’s a bit more pace than we currently have. It’s a lot more structured, I think this starting 11 can go toe to toe with any in the world. Then we have our back up/subs consisting of the excellent McNair and Blackett, Young, Valencia, Fellaini, Wilson, Pereira.

It’s not all doom and gloom, we’re still in the top four,  and we’ve a reasonably straight forward next half dozen games or so. Let’s hope a switch back to 4 at the back is the catalyst for better performances.

Finally, again. I’ve told you all THREE TIMES now, so you’ve no excuse, but until it sells out I gotta keep saying it. We’ve got tables left, but they’re selling well. Don’t miss out. It’s Pallister and Sharpie, it’s raising dosh for Cancer Research and it’ll be a right good piss-up. See the link below.

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Speak to you soon

Stephen First game was Southampton 1990, favourite team was 1999, almost perfect footballing team. Proud Mancunian. The word legend is used far too much. MUFC only have one and his name is Sir Bobby Charlton. MUFCLatest founder, Full Time Devils staff member and MUST supporter.