Football

Louis van Gaal is showing signs of emulating Sir Alex Ferguson

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Manchester United dominated the Premier League two years ago. Winning the title by a massive 11 points.

A lot has changed since then. Sir Alex Ferguson retired, David Moyes was brought in, only to be sacked several months later and replaced by Dutchman, Louis van Gaal.

People rightly believed there would be some transition once Sir Alex departed, expecting a minor dip in form. But could anyone have predicted such a downfall?

 

The ever-winning Manchester club finished seventh in the league the following year after, missing out on that vital Champions League spot. It was hardly the finish of champions. 

The finger was pointed at Moyes. The argument being he had a squad of championship winning capability, and finishing seventh, four places behind fierce rivals Liverpool, was just not up to the understandably high standards of Manchester United fans. 

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It has been a different story so far this season under Van Gaal. Manchester United are in fourth, two points behind local rivals Manchester City, who find themselves in second place. But looking at the table alone, especially at this stage in the season, is not enough to justify a complete turnaround. To do so, you'd have to look at the football their playing, even with such an injury stricken campaign. 

Van Gaal has been forced to utilise each and every player. 

Ashley Young, a player who was presumably on his way out last season to the delight of United fans, has been transformed into a useful squad member for the reds. Playing left back on a number of occasions, and playing it well might I add.

Marouane Fellaini, who was labelled as a £27million panic buy his time last year, has been playing the football of his life. Van Gaal using the towering midfielder in a more advanced role. Something which Moyes was perhaps afraid to do at United.

After Ferguson's title winning curtain call, and Moyes' abrupt dismissal, many started to believe the man was more genius than previously thought. To win the league in such an emphatic fashion, with a squad consisting of these newly found out average players, gained him more credit than he was previously given. 

Work in progress

Van Gaal can follow this success. He is known to motivate. He is known to squeeze every drop of talent out of his players. He's done the same with Arjen Robben- a player who's career was on the decline after an unsuccessful time at Real Madrid.

He is also known to trust youth in his team selection, another characteristic shared with Sir Alex. The Dutchman did it with Xavi, Iniesta and Puyol at Barcelona, three of the best the world has ever seen. And currently he's doing with James Wilson, Tyler Blackett and Paddy McNair at United. 

His control over Manchester United should rightly be met with great optimism from the fans, for the future looks bright. 

The 'Iron Tulip', as he has been previously described as, can lay the seeds of a strong foundation for United, that will eventually grow into a powerful force once again. 

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Topics:
Alex Ferguson
Louis van Gaal
Manchester United
Premier League
Football

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