With Manchester United in mid-table as the festive period edges ever closer, Cian Dalton compares the fortunes of David Moyes and current incumbent, Louis van Gaal.
It has been another frustrating start to the season for Manchester United and especially their followers. Residing in tenth place after Tottneham’s late win over a beleaguered Aston Villa is not what the fans were expecting after Louis van Gaal took over after his Holland side’s impressive run in the World Cup.
Van Gaal came out and said to see how he was doing after three months in the job, a statement of intent and confidence that sat well with the United faithful. However, that confidence has not materialised on the pitch in a number of games, the defeat to Leicester showing United’s lack of depth in defense and inability to see out matches.
In fact, Van Gaal has a worse record after ten games into the Premier League than David Moyes did at the same stage last season. He has spent more, won two fewer matches and has four less points. However, the majority of United fans, myself included, are a lot less worried under the Dutchman than we were under David Moyes.
This is due in part to the record of each individual club Van Gaal has managed at the top level in Holland, Spain and Germany with Moyes managing Preston North End and Everton. While Moyes did very well at both clubs, the names don’t match up to the likes of Ajax, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and the Holland national team. Maybe that is superficial of us, but experience and results speak for themselves.
It was clear to see that the team that won the league in 2012/13 were going to struggle to adapt to a different manager’s style and presence. Many fans felt David Moyes was the wrong choice and felt justified when his campaign came to a stuttering end as he was sacked in April of this year.
In his first televised interview since his sacking, Moyes said that he didn’t see it coming and that he thought and felt that he would have more time to fix things due to his signature on a six-year contract to manage the Red Devils. It seems likely that Van Gaal will be offered that time to impose his philosophy on the club and this has worked for him in the past, namely in Munich.
United fans will be hoping that he can reproduce the results of that season when he brought Bayern to the brink of the German treble, and pull the team back into the Champions League places. This would be an outstanding achievement.
Although the team itself is impressive on paper, the defensive line is fraught with injury and confidence issues. Roy Keane said in an interview with Kevin Kilbane for Football Focus on BBC that the team will win many games because there are a lot of goals in the talented players at the club, but the problems in defence will cost them the games they need to win.
Although the statistics are worse than this time last season, fans are not panicking or calling for the manager’s head. Moyes has been linked with several clubs, most recently Real Sociedad and in his interview he seemed disappointed in his tenure but happy to move on.
United may be exactly mid-table but last weekend’s 1-0 loss to Manchester City was a hell of a lot better than last year’s 4-1 drubbing, and the last 15 minutes were promising in an attacking sense. They need more confidence for sure, but signs show that United could be on the up and could be battling for honours in the next few seasons.
Cian Dalton, Pundit Arena.
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