Manchester United legend Gary Neville’s says that supporters should “let go” of the past and embrace manager Louis van Gaal less-than-attractive style of play. Under the Dutchman United has enjoyed a run that includes just one defeat in the past 19 matches, taking the Reds to third in the Premier League and into the FA Cup quarter-final. Yet, the veteran Dutch coach has come under fire recently for United’s style – West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce dubbed Van Gaal’s team “Long Ball United,” while former player Paul Scholes said that he was “struggling to watch” the team.
By contrast Neville argues that while fans are confused by United’s good form and poor performances, supporters should embrace the former and not the latter.
“I personally believe in attacking football, with a high tempo,” wrote Neville in the Telegraph this week.
“If United were committed to protecting that style of play at all costs they should have appointed a manager with those beliefs. But there was no way Van Gaal was going to come to Manchester United and adopt somebody else’s philosophy. It’s a bit like breaking up with a partner of 26 years and wanting the new person to be the same as the old one.”
Fair comment, although few suspected that Van Gaal would bring a brand of ultra-pragmatism to the club. After all, this is the same Van Gaal that built a vibrant Ajax side in the mid-1990s and the pre-cursor to Barcelona’s tika-taka kings in the early 2000s.
Champions League football is Van Gaal’s primary goal this season – one reason that the Dutchman’s significant bank of credit remains high despite the lukewarm reception to his team’s performances. It might not always remain that way. As Neville concludes, “Van Gaal’s work will be judged not by whether he can take United back into the Champions League this season but whether he can ultimately regain the English title.”
It remains open to question whether that success, should it come, will be with an attacking, attractive, side…. or otherwise.
7 thoughts on “Poll: when should Van Gaal bring back United’s “champagne football?””
In an attempt to “let go” of the past, I’ve decided to forget all about Gary Whatshisname.
As long as LvG continues to “experiment” in trying to determine his best first-eleven then such hopes will have to be postponed. And as long as he tries to determine if Falcao and/or RvP are part of that projected future, the return of free-flowing football will be later, rather than sooner.
With only a couple of exceptions, Ferguson’s last 10 seasons were largely the antithesis of the sort of football we all loved watching in the 90s. Ferguson himself led United down the “winning is all that matters” road, something which Neville and the other ‘disciples’ would do well to remember next time they want to drag up this ‘high tempo attacking football’ bollocks. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no fan of the shite Van Gaal seems intent on serving up, but nor do I want to see Ferguson undeservedly canonised and lauded for a style that we’ve heard more about since he fucking retired than we ever did whilst he was the manager. Increasingly, the shit going round the club is seeming more and more like a power play from Ferguson & the 92 lot to get Giggs in charge ASAP, and he looks about as well equipped to bring back the glory days as Moyes did.
I am fairly confident that LVG will play a more attractive style of football once he gets some players who are a bit more capable. We need another true central midfield player, one who can carry the ball and move it forward, coupled with that we need a striker who is willing to run for his team mates, not two strikers who only want the ball into feet. It is my belief that next season we will play 4-3-3 with a new RB, De Gea, Smalling/Jones/new CB, Rojo, Shaw, Blind/Carrick, Herrera/new CM, New CM, De Maria, Januzai/new winger, Rooney/RVP/New striker.
As long as we make the champions league we will have a huge pot of money to spend, don’t be surprised to see another Adidas sponsored player with us next season – potentially Bale maybe Robben. We will spend heavily again this summer.
In the mean time as much as it isn’t great to watch I am very happy with the results and league standing. GGMU.
PS someone teach Di Maria how to strike a football properly!
Now is obvious to LVG is not coach for premier league, we cannot recognise a beauty of ManUtd style of playing now – Boring to see Man Utd tika taka , hoping just on some accidental goal is not enough!!!! If we depend on LVG system Man Utd will soon fall down and cannot hope always on goodluck!!!
There will be no champagne football under van Gaal regardless of future transfer dealings.