This time last year, Manchester United was about to start under the new regime of David Moyes after being handed the gauntlet from Sir Alex Ferguson. A rough 10 months were brought to an end before the end of last season after not making the Champions League qualification and having had trouble with some fans and team morale the board decided to end his 6 year contract before any more damage could be done to the reputation to the club.
Twelve months on, Louis Van Gaal has been put in place to stable the Red Devils ship and get the club heading back in the right direction.
Even though Man Utd and David Moyes started off fantastically versus Swansea City last season with a 4-1 win, which included two goals apiece for Van Persie and Welbeck. This fantastic result seemed to suggest an instant transition. Sadly the game wasn’t anything more than a red herring and the type of performances in that game were lacking throughout the rest of the season.
This time, at the home of Manchester United, the Theatre of Dreams begins Van Gaal reign. Will this game be the view from the window of the season ahead or be the cover over the eyes? That is the question to be answered over the coming months.
The season ahead is very different to what David Moyes had to deal with, in interviews nearly every time the question, could David Moyes deal with the pressure of being the predecessor and the following answer containing the phrase “it’s going to be a tough job coming after Sir Alex Ferguson” but this time round, Van Gaal’s reign could benefit and be a blessing for coming after Moyes because Van Gaal has made his intentions clear and has kept the media interested with all the stuff he’s changing, rather than trying to say all the right things, instead is doing his way and this is keeping attention away from comparisons and keeping the media busy instead of bringing up Sir Alex Ferguson or transfer failings, he’s talking about his past, his changes in formation and tactics and even the possible causes for poor performances such as the pre-season scheduling. Another difference has been the press conferences that David Moyes did, he looked wary to say his own opinion and reverted to a this is going to take time and this is Man Utd. However Van Gaal has already put his foot down and gained an element of respect and dismisses poor questions very well. And isn’t afraid to be honest and make it his conference and isn’t hiding under the Manchester United crest.
Pre Season has been very positive for United fans and the club, compared to last year, even though they saw their team win the Community Shield with a 2-0 over Wigan at Wembley they also saw disappointing results in overall with 3 losses, 2 wins and 2 draws. Whereas this season United are unbeaten and also won their pre-season tournament (Guinness ICC) beating European teams such as Real Madrid and Liverpool along the way. The season could still be a struggle as Van Gaal has stated usually his teams struggle at the start of the season, however United fans are used to a slow start of the season when under Sir Alex Ferguson and the commercial partners will deal with this as long as success follows in the later months.