Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal has revealed that he feels the squad left to him by previous manager David Moyes was “broken” and unbalanced, according to varying sources.
The quotes from the Dutchman, brought to our attention by the Telegraph, state in no uncertain terms that he feels he has been left with an uphill battle to restore United to their former glory, despite the fact that he has hefty financial backing from the board and the rapturous support of the fans.
Van Gaal’s thoughts
Van Gaal officially assumed duties almost immediately after his World Cup obligations with the Netherlands had concluded, and has already set about making big decisions with regards to tactics, transfer policies and even the club’s Carrington training ground.
However, never one to shy away from airing his views publicly, the 62-year-old has insisted that it would have been easier to follow Sir Alex Ferguson into the Old Trafford hot-seat rather than David Moyes, as the latter left him a team unable to compete at the top.
When asked whether picking up the reigns where Sir Alex had set them down would have been more difficult that the current situation, Van Gaal replied: “No.
"I don't agree. I had to follow Bobby Robson at Barcelona the year after he won three titles and there wasn't a problem.
"When there is success you have a very good squad, and now I have to follow and the squad was broken I think.
"When you look at the squad, there is quality. There is [Wayne] Rooney, [Robin] van Persie, [Javier] Hernandez, [Danny] Welbeck, but you also see Juan Mata, [Marouane] Fellaini, and you see [Ander] Herrera. There are a lot of players that can play in the same position.
"It is not in balance. It's more difficult to succeed in a difficult situation than in a fantastic situation."
Need for success
Regardless of Van Gaal’s theory of success however, few can argue that he’s been appointed with the assumption that he will produce it at the first time of asking. United appear to be a transformed team with regards to their optimism moving forward in the little time he’s been at the helm, and pre-season results thus far have paved the way for praise at the way the Dutchman has set about initiating his regime.
For Van Gaal’s reputation very much precedes him, and offers the sort of grounded hope which was famously missing in Moyes’ reign. Whereas the Scot arrived at United having made his name as a mid-table manager at Everton his successor is well travelled, comfortably experienced at the highest level and extremely successful.
The “broken” squad
That’s why when Van Gaal says that he’s identified a serious flaw within the squad he’s inherited, it’s wise to expect a raft of changes. A host of first-team players are facing uncertain futures, and the manager himself as already admitted that he will make decisions over the status’ of a number of his stars once the pre-season tour of the US has culminated.
Amongst those expected to leave are Shinji Kagawa, Javier Hernandez and Nani, with the first two being heavily tipped to find themselves as part of some sort of swap deal.