Louis van Gaal's legacy at Manchester United

Published Add your comment

Football News

In the aftermath of Louis van Gaal's sacking, much has been made of his failures during his tenure at Manchester United, and the impending arrival of one of the game's most successful manager's Jose Mourinho.

Yes, LvG failed to win the league title, he failed to progress out of his Champions League group, and even failed to qualify for the UEFA Champions League in his final season in charge. These are shortcomings that cannot be overlooked, and in a results-based market, the owners had every right to sack him.

However, looking closer, was everything as bad as the media made out? Aside from the FA Cup win in his final game in charge, a first since 2004, let's look at what the next manager has to work with.


Want to become a GMS writer? Sign up now and submit a 250-word test article:


It is well-documented that Van Gaal spent just over £250 million in his short stint at the helm, with many failures in the transfer market available to criticise at the reader's discretion. You will not need to look far to see a £15m loss on Angel di Maria and the obscurity that Radamel Falcao has faded into.

There are also question marks over the quality of the ageing Bastian Schweinsteiger and the impact that Morgan Schneiderlin has made.

However, there can be no doubt whatsoever that Anthony Martial is a star in the making, and, due to the fact that he has four years left on his contract, it is unlikely that he is going anywhere soon.

Scoring 17 goals in his debut season at the mere age of 20 is a tall ask for most, and especially in a team that has lacked attacking prowess and quality delivery for the best part of two seasons.

Meanwhile, Luke Shaw was beginning to show the promise that he was billed to have, before breaking his leg against PSV Eindhoven early in the season. If he can capture his early form, the young Englishman can truly become on the world's most sought-after left-backs.

Daley Blind and Chris Smalling have been consistent, if not spectacular, and there is potential for Matteo Darmian to settle well next season under the guidance of Mourinho.

However, one of the most important actions during his reign must be the retention of possibly the best 'keeper in the world - David de Gea. Again voted the Player of the Season, there can be no doubt that the team would not be anywhere near where they are now without many of his stellar performances this season.


Van Gaal's trust in youth is often admired, and rightfully so.

Yes, injuries often forced his hand this season, but even when he had a full squad, the likes of Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford often found themselves in the starting line-up, with Cameron Borthwick-Jackson and Timothy Fosu-Mensah also being involved in the match-day squad.

This was a season where 'Louis' lads' really came to the fore, and it would be a huge mistake for Mourinho to overlook them due to his seemingly reluctant nature to work with youth.


Finally, not enough has been made of Van Gaal's impact on the United defence.

Smalling, a player who was bought under the tutelage of Sir Alex Ferguson, but often overlooked by him and even David Moyes, has become a stalwart in the back line, and is likely to start for England at the Euros as a result. His performances have often been nothing short of excellent, and his partner, Blind has also been consistent, in a position where he has not played before this season.

Antonio Valencia has become a powerful attacking right-back, and Shaw will no doubt pick up where he left off upon his return to action next season. 

This cumulatively lead to United having conceded the joint-fewest goals in the division this year, and when Mourinho, a coach who prides himself on defensive capabilities, takes up at the helm, perhaps he will thank his predecessor and ex-mentor that the team he left behind was not the mess that we have come to believe it is.

Was Louis van Gaal's tenure at Manchester United a total failure? Have YOUR say in the comment section below!

Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE:

Wayne Rooney
Manchester United
David de Gea
Premier League
Ryan Giggs
Cristiano Ronaldo
David Beckham

Article Comments

Read more

Report author of article

Please let us know if you believe this article is in violation of our editorial policy, please only report articles for one of the following reasons.

Report author


This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Want more content like this?

Like our GiveMeSport Facebook Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to Facebook, don't ask me again

Follow GiveMeSport on Twitter and you will get this directly to you.

Already Following, don't ask me again

Like our GiveMeSport Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to G+, don't ask me again