Manchester United finished off their pre-season tour of the United States with a solid 3-1 win against their Premier League rivals Liverpool on Monday.
The Red Devils have been very impressive during their tour and managed to win all of their games (if you include a win over Inter Milan on penalties).
Contrast to last season
This is a stark contrast to the pre-season tour last year under David Moyes where United struggled against below-par opposition and recording only two wins in seven friendlies.
Van Gaal has had a huge impact with fans already, as he has been seen telling Antonio Valencia and Wayne Rooney how to shoot properly and praising his players when they manage to produce his ideology.
Van Gaal impressing
This is Van Gaal's character and this helps him gain respect from his players and fans alike. He has also impressed fans by conducting confident press conferences, issuing cutting comments no matter who you are and the amazing ability to enforce a new style of tactics on a team who are still suffering from humiliation of last season.
There are obviously still some issues that need to be ironed out especially at the back. United did show some defensive frailties, especially against AS Roma by nearly letting a three-goal lead slip.
They also conceded a soft penalty against Liverpool which Steven Gerrard converted with precise expertise. Manchester United are still in serious need of a world class centre half to assist with the progress of young English defenders Phil Jones and Chris Smalling. Mats Hummels is still the obvious target but that deal looks as dead as a dodo.
Focusing on the Liverpool game, Manchester United expressed a glimmer of their former swagger as they grew into the game and managed to reduce Liverpool's chances.
United still gelling
Up until the quick-fire double through Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata, Liverpool were still in the game and creating problems for the United defence; however, it was just evident that Liverpool's striking prowess was just not as prolific without Daniel Sturridge and the recently departed Luis Suarez.
One of the main talking points for Manchester United fans is the resurgence of Ashley Young.
Young has shown how effective he can be in his new adopted role of wing back. The England international has come under a serious amount of scrutiny in his time at Old Trafford due to the lack of quality performances that were on show at Aston Villa and when he first came to Manchester United.
He has also come under scrutiny by being constantly accused of diving (a lot of the time rightly so). Fans do not like to see that in their players and do not want the name of the club being brought into disrepute. However, Young may have managed to save his Manchester United career by re inventing himself as a wing back and hopefully we can see the Ashley Young that demanded such a large transfer fee back in 2011.
Pre-season is all well and good for Manchester United but they need to transfer these performances into the league and bounce back from the horrific season last year.
As Mr. Van Gaal said: "The most important game is against Swansea City, the first game at home in the Premier league, that we have to win"
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