Sir Alex Ferguson was by no the perfect football boss, I mean who is?
However the Scot was one of the greatest bosses the English and European game has ever seen.
He had knack creating teams that lead to success at Old Trafford for over two decades.
His United team’s more often than not played exciting and attractive football. More importantly the Red Devils won trophies under Fergie, even when his United squad’s looked slightly weak at times.
Current boss Louis van Gaal has come in for criticism because of the team’s supposed defensive style of play. The Dutchman has achieved success in his managerial, but all of it has not achieved with his team’s playing such dull football.
The Red Devils face a difficult Champions League encounter with Wolfsburg in Germany on Tuesday night, in which only a win will guarantee qualification to the knockout stages.
What a waste of money
Louis van Gaal has been handed a major transfer kitty by the United owners in his year and a half in charge. Granted the Red Devils have got back into the top four of the Premier League table, but given that amount of money John Carver could probably have achieved that (ok maybe not).
The point I am trying to make is Van Gaal has been heavily backed and this season his team have managed six goalless draws this season, not exactly a sparkling return for the clubs money. The Red Devils under Van Gaal are looking anaemic in attack and when United have chances they are often spurned.
Van Gaal is a highly-experienced boss, so surely he could have invested the money more wisely over his time in charge. His signings have been hit and miss so far.
Young French forward Anthony Martial started his United career like a house on fire, but it seems in the last few months the fire brigade have been down to Old Trafford and put the fire out. It is debatable whether Van Gaal has stunted Martial’s development at United.
No doubt when Van Gaal arrived at United the team needed major rebuilding and he has brought in a lot of players. I cannot say that there has been massive improvement from United from last though.
Where is the swagger?
In days gone by United teams displayed more swagger than an American rapper. At the moment they are showing fewer swaggers than a maths teacher who collects Star Trek memorabilia. The players seem scared to attack teams, but it seems they are sticking to Van Gaal’s strict instructions.
I just hope that Van Gaal has never been anybody’s best man, because any stag do arranged by the Dutchman would be as dull as ditch water.
Van Gaal has stated that he does not intend to send his team out in a cautious or defensive style, but obviously the players are playing to his instructions. If they are not then they would have felt the wrath of the veteran boss by now.
Will they qualify for Champions League knockout stages?
A trip to Wolfsburg represents a difficult one for the misfiring Red Devils. United’s uninspiring 0-0 draw with West Ham at the weekend will not have increased confidence amongst the United fans that they will collect the result necessary to make it to the last 16 of the competition.
The bookmakers do not seem to think so, as Wolfsburg is favourites to win the game at odds of 13/10, while the visitors are odds of 23/10.
The Red Devils have a number of injury problems heading to Germany with the likes of Wayne Rooney and Morgan Schneiderlin recently added to their injury list. Van Gaal also has problems in defence with Luke Shaw, Antonio Valencia, Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo all expected to miss out.
I have to agree with the bookies on this one. Wolfsburg has suffered just one home defeat in 30 Bundesliga games, but the Wolves did suffer a home defeat against Everton in the Europa League last season.
It seems Van Gaal is increasingly losing the United fans with every game he manages United. The great Ferguson went through tough periods, but I can never remember United playing such underwhelming football as this season.
If the Red Devils exit the Champions League on Tuesday night, then the current murmuring of discontent from the United supporters is likely to increase in volume, but as usual Van Gaal will be defiant and defend his teams style of play.
United may only be three points off the top of the Premier League, but Red Devils supporters are accustomed to more attacking teams, who actually achieve the objective of putting the ball in the back of the net, which the current team struggle with.
Does anybody enjoy watching United play under Van Gaal?