Sunday 10 May 2015

United Faithful's season review

With the 2014/15 season drawing to an exciting conclusion and United's place in the Champions League all but secured, on the blog over the next few weeks we're going to be looking at the ups and downs of Louis van Gaal's first season in charge in the Old Trafford hotseat.

But first, let's set the scene....

Let me take you back a year: David Moyes had been sacked, Ryan Giggs was in caretaker charge in the interim- he would retire from playing at the end of the season- and United slumped to a disastrous seventh placed finish.

United had been written off as a spent force with ageing players for whom years in the wilderness would follow, but the Reds acted quickly by appointing a proven winner to replace what proved to be an expensive experiment.

Step forward Louis van Gaal: an enigmatic, straight-talking and often controversial character hailed as a tactical and innovative man manager. 

His first job was an almost complete overhaul of the squad: out went Patrice Evra, Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, Shinji Kagawa, Danny Welbeck and Alex Buttner, plus Javier Hernandez and Tom Cleverley on loan.
Darren Fletcher, Wilfried Zaha and Anderson would eventually follow suit in January.

What followed was one of the most remarkable spending sprees in the club's history: in came Marcos Rojo from Sporting Lisbon, Ander Herrera from Athletic Bilbao, Luke Shaw from Southampton, Radamel Falcao on loan from Monaco, Angel Di Maria from Real Madrid and Daley Blind from Ajax (Victor Valdes would later join on a free in January).

Many thought that Robin van Persie would be appointed as Van Gaal's captain at Old Trafford, but that honour instead went to Wayne Rooney with Michael Carrick and Fletcher vice and third captains respectively.

An unbeaten pre-season in the USA (taking in wins over LA Galaxy, Roma, Inter Milan, Real Madrid and Liverpool) gave United fans a glimpse of Van Gaal's tactical insight before his first home match as manager (a 2-1 win over Valencia in August). 

So then.... the players are ready, there's a new man in charge, there's an expectant hum in the Old Trafford air, and the big kick off is nearly upon us.

This is United Faithful's 2014/15 season review....

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