Wednesday 9 September 2015

Van Gaal's "judgement day" is fast approaching- it's time to deliver

Sat in a Washington DC hotel last summer, only a few weeks after officially being announced as the new United manager, Louis van Gaal insisted he had taken on the biggest challenge of his decorated career.

He said that this was because taking over a team at its lowest ebb was more difficult that inheriting one the previous year.
In summary, he would have rather taken the job after Sir Alex than after David Moyes.

It sounded like a bit of a cheap shot- especially, you'd imagine to Moyes himself who experienced the pressure of succeeding Ferguson first hand.
LVG perhaps wouldn't accept it, but he's benefited from simply not being SAF's immediate successor.
The Scot's 10 months in charge were so humiliating for fans that anything was an improvement and it has perhaps amplified LVG's achievements since.

The football hasn't always been great but at least we're harder to beat and, although we would not normally celebrate fourth place, it's better than seventh.

Supporters might not like hearing Van Gaal say he doesn't mind his team only having one shot on target but it's preferable to Moyes saying he wanted his side to 'make it hard' for Newcastle ahead of a visit to Old Trafford.

There is though, a time when LVG will have to judged on who he is and what he's done rather than who he isn't and what he hasn't.
After 14 months, three transfer windows, 12 new signings, 30 departures and total outlay of £258.7 million, it's fast approaching.
Van Gaal has given us our pride back- he has the unwavering self-belief and persona you need to manage the biggest club in the world.
He won at Anfield, thumped City and got us back into the Champions League.

That's all well and good, but the expectation eventually will be that United start winning trophies again.
It's difficult to know when it's acceptable to judge a manager- you need to give him time to build a squad and implement his methods.
But the feeling at Old Trafford is that this is now Van Gaal's United.
He's indicated privately that he's happy with his squad despite a perceived lack of business in the final days of the window, while he's had plenty of time to explain his "philosophy" (I'm still not 100% certain what it is).

Because of that, it's time to hold him to United's usual expectations.
The honeymoon period has passed. 

The time has come to hold him to a higher standard, the standard forged by Sir Matt Busby and Sir Alex Ferguson.

United expects. 

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