Football

Louis van Gaal's five-point action plan to improve Manchester United

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In order for Louis van Gaal to prove his managerial ability and be classed as a success at Manchester United he must successfully negotiate a number of tricky situations.

1. Assert authority

The Dutchman known as the Iron Tulip firstly must assert his authority over the team to show he is fully in control. The best way to show this is by dropping a big-name player.

Van Gaal has shown in the past he isn’t afraid of going to war with a household name, previously dropping Rivaldo at Barcelona and Van Persie in 2012. However, he has also shown that he is a fair man, allowing benched players to win their starting spot back. 

2. Find a system that works

While other Premier League managers like Brendan Rodgers and Roberto Martinez showed refreshing tactical flexibility last season, employing a variety of different systems where required, United became stale and predictable under former manager David Moyes.

Van Gaal's 5-3-2 formation that he employed at the World Cup and United’s opener worked in Brazil with the Netherlands national team due to the players at Van Gaal’s disposal.

However, the formation wasn’t as successful in his Old Trafford debut losing 2-1 to Swansea. So he must now find a tactical scheme that can successfully incorporate Van Persie, Juan Mata, Ander Herrera, Wayne Rooney et al.

3. Ship out the deadwood

There is no doubt that far too many players performance levels dipped too low last season for them to remain at Old Trafford in the long term. In Marouane Fellaini’s case, the jury is out on whether he ever had the level in the first place.

Fresh blood is needed to revive a once highly successful football club. Fellaini, Tom Cleverley and Shinji Kagawa are just some that Van Gaal may deem dispensable after already showing Nani the exit door and bringing in Argentine defender Marcos Rojo.

4. Help turn Giggsy from apprentice to master 

If the final four games of last season taught us anything it’s that Ryan Giggs is future Manchester United manager material – in status and how he wears the suit if nothing else.

Having agreed to stay on as assistant manager under the Dutchman, who better to learn from than a manger who’s been everywhere and seen everything?

Van Gaal has managed at the highest level of the game from Barcelona to most recently the Netherlands national team, he surely will learn the ropes assuming the two gel, that is.

5. Develop the youngsters

Speaking of succession planning, Giggs’ decision to hand debuts to academy graduates James Wilson and Tom Lawrence against Hull City at the end of last season paid dividends.

Lawrence showed promise and Wilson scored twice. Youth Development is one of Van Gaal’s strongest attributes and has already shown his confidence in United’s youngsters in their opening game handing Jese Lingard a start and Adnan Januzaj an appearance.

However, with Manchester United’s squad being weak he must be cautious of not burning the young players out.

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Topics:
Manchester United
Louis van Gaal
Football
Premier League

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