Sport | Van Gaal named Manchester United manager

After weeks of speculation, Louis van Gaal has finally been revealed as the new manager of Manchester United. The Dutchman has signed a reported three year deal with the Red Devils and will take over from interim player-manager Ryan Giggs after completing his World Cup duties with Holland.

If sacked manager David Moyes was hampered by being too in awe of the size of the club, the appointment of a man known as the “iron tulip” sees United turn to someone with the kind of personality that is a lot more familiar at Old Trafford. Van Gaal is undoubtedly confident in his own ability, citing his time in charge at Bayern Munich as the reason that “Club Hollywood” are currently enjoying so much success.

The Dutchman surely has the CV to suggest that he has the capability to turn things around at Manchester United. Spells in charge of European heavyweights Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern Munich alongside two periods at the helm of the Holland national side imply that unlike David Moyes, van Gaal has the credentials to be a success at Old Trafford and to get rid of the club’s first signs of instability since Sir Alex Ferguson took over in 1986.

At 62 years old, van Gaal isn’t the manager that United perhaps plan to take the club forward in the long-term. It is largely argued that the transition between Ferguson and Moyes was too sudden and is part of the reason why the ex-Everton boss couldn’t prevent the Red Devils from enduring their worst season in recent history. It is hoped that van Gaal can provide a quick turnaround and get the club once again fighting at the top of the table before eventually handing the baton over to the next ‘chosen one’.

However, suggestions that this is a forgone conclusion have been dismissed by many pundits and experts. Robbie Savage and Alan Shearer are amongst those who believe that up to ten players need to be sold this summer, while van Gaal needs to be careful to keep fans, players and executives onside by appropriately dealing with figures such as Ryan Giggs – the man appointed by van Gaal as his assistant and recently backed by Sir Alex Ferguson to become the next Manchester United manager. The Dutchman’s hard-line approach and apparent disregard for reputations suggests that this could go either way. One thing that is for sure however is that all eyes will be on Old Trafford next season with United fans praying that their period of torment is finally over.


Peter White

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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