Sometimes a job is just too big, as David Moyes found out during an ill-fated stint at the Manchester United helm, Louis Van Gaal was today confirmed as his replacement – Dom Kureen gives his views on the new man in charge.
Manchester United manager: a post that can prove a poisoned chalice at the best of times, and one that was multiplied ten-fold for the brave soul replacing the iconic Sir Alex Ferguson, following his 27-year trophy laden reign in the North-West.
With David Moyes ditched four matches before the conclusion of his inaugural season in the Old Trafford hot seat, a cluster of prospective successors were linked to the vacancy.
Ryan Giggs was among the favourites, but his time is surely still to come.
Carlo Ancelotti seems content enough guiding Real Madrid, with the likes of Ronaldo, Bale, Modric and Ramos in tow.
Meanwhile, Jurgen Klopp and Jose Mourinho are worshipped at the grounds they currently walk on and both are tied to lengthy contracts as a consequence.
Among the sea of credible candidates, one fit the bill like a Playboy Bunny frolicking in a mansion hot tub – that man was Louis Van Gaal.
Confident/arrogant: CHECK, CHECK!
The 62 year-old Dutchman first came to prominence when guiding a youth packed Ajax Amsterdam side to the Champions League title in 1995.
Utilising hot academy prospects such as Patrick Kluivert, Edgar Davids, Dennis Bergkamp, Marc Overmars, Clarence Seedorf, Edwin Van Der Sar and the De Boer twins, Van Gaal built a squad the envy of every other club side in the world.
Stints with global giants Barcelona (twice), Bayern Munich and the Dutch national side (also twice) brought mixed results, although any doubts over the veteran’s credentials were nipped in the bud by a remarkable four year tenure at AZ Alkmaar, who he guided to the Eredvisie championship in 2008-09.
Heading to the World Cup with the Netherlands this summer, Van Gaal will begin his English adventure upon the conclusion of the tournament.
Where there was general scepticism surrounding Moyes’ appointment last year, the consensus now is that an exciting new era will be ushered in during the short-term, with newly appointed assistant, Ryan Giggs, learning from one of football’s master tacticians.
That is of course the plan, but as Moyes’ miserable reign confirmed: In football it’s dangerous to plan too far ahead.
Futures that look bright under Van Gaal
Excelled under Van Gaal at international level and was made Dutch captain by him last year. His partnership with Wayne Rooney should prosper as a result of the appointment.
Has shown glimpses of his Chelsea form since making a £37m move to Old Trafford in January, usually at his best alongside the under-utilised Shinji Kagawa. Expect Mata to become integral to any success United enjoy next season.
Hasn’t really developed as expected since a high-profile £16.5m move from Blackburn Rovers to Manchester United three years ago. Will need to step up next term, with Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic departing the ‘Theatre of Dreams.’
Seems destined to inherit the left-back slot from evergreen Patrice Evra, with a £27m transfer from Southampton on the cards. The 18-year old is part of an exciting long-term vision that Van Gaal is likely to swiftly implement.
One of the few players at Old Trafford to enhance his reputation last season, the fleet-footed, Belgian born 19 year-old is a gem who should continue to prosper under the new boss.
Expect Nick Powell, Wilfried Zaha and James Wilson to be unleashed in 2014-15, embellishing what, on paper, appears to be a remarkable pool of attacking talent.
Futures that look bleak under Van Gaal
Prodigiously gifted, exasperatingly inconsistent, the winger probably realises that his time in Manchester is approaching a meek conclusion. His presence now only serves to stifle the likes of Januzaj in the coming years.
With Luke Shaw inbound, the French full-back is in talks with Juventus after an eight year spell in the Premier League. Could still do a job as backup, but will feel that the move to Serie.A represents an opportunity for one last hoorah.
Injuries, dodgy dives and a regression of performance have hindered Young since his £16m move from Aston Villa. Once pivotal to club and country, the 28 year-old now has it all to prove.
Symptomatic of David Moyes’ time at Old Trafford were the ongoing tribulations of his £27.5m signing from Everton. Since then the Belgian midfielder’s value has diminished significantly and his reputation as a midfield powerhouse is in tatters.
Expect the likes of Tom Cleverley, Alex Buttner, Javier Hernandez, Danny Welbeck, Darren Fletcher and Antonio Valencia to have their cards marked by the new coach.
The class of ’92
While Giggs may be untouchable, the same cannot be said for the likes of Phil Neville, Nicky Butt and Paul Scholes. Van Gaal is unlikely to stand on ceremony, regardless of their achievements as players.
Is Louis Van Gaal the right man to replace David Moyes? If not who would have been better? Let us know in the comment section below!