No patience, no breathing room for failure. Louis van Gaal was appointed to erase the embarrassment of the short David Moyes era, and bring Manchester United back to where they’re used to be at for the last 20 or so seasons: On top of the Premier League, or at least somewhere close. This isn’t some rebuilding effort that will be given some time.
Not that Manchester United don’t need a rebuild. After spending over £70 million on two players last season that the team didn’t really need or at least weren’t covering their main problems, the Dutch manager who has won titles with Ajax, AZ, Bayern Munich and Barcelona including the Champions League in 1995 and will lead the Dutch national team in this World Cup, is going to receive a reported £150 million to avoid another 2013-2014 debacle.
Will it work? Prophecy has been taken from prophets and given to fools according to the Babylonian Talmud, which was written by some pretty smart people. There were those who were sure that Moyes was the perfect replacement for Alex Ferguson – A Scotsman, from Glasgow… and that’s it? Maybe they were kind of foolish to believe that would have worked out considering what he’s done with Everton – impressive to a point, but nothing to extravagant.
Van Gaal isn’t here for 10-15 years. Even though teams love thinking about the far future and signing managers on long term contracts, that hardly holds up. Alan Pardew has been signed for eight years by Newcastle and that doesn’t seem like someone who’ll last even half that term. Van Gaal himself hardly stays in one place for too long, although he rarely leaves without leaving his mark.
Van Gaal was part of the crew that built one of the most influential teams of the last 20 years if not the most: That Ajax squad that was broken apart by the Bosman rule and the new financial realities went on to make quite an impact on European football, spreading mainly to Spain and Italy, before the rise of the Premiership.
He’ll have Giggs as his assistant, only this time without the constant attempts to undermine him. Or will he? Giggs deserves a separate post. It’s not everyday such a player retires, or such a person tarnishes a legacy of more than two decades by a few actions of selfishness, exposing his true colors.
Manchester United have always been proud of being different, even though they weren’t. The only difference was the manager. They’ve always wanted to be about big money like Chelsea and Manchester City, but were able to compete and beat them thanks to the man on the sidelines. They’re hoping that Van Gaal is just as much as capable to make that difference, although he’ll be getting funds beyond his wildest dreams. It won’t matter if he doesn’t spend them correctly, as we all saw from the Moyes-Woodward tag team that crashed.