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Man Utd the past the future.
NEW SEASON NEW BEGINNINGS;
So the season is not to far away now and the feeling of a fresh start cannot be ignored.
Rewind 12 months ago and the impending doomed failure of the David Moyes reign and there has been a huge shift in feelings towards the management and direction of the club.
NEW MANAGER, NEW PHILOSOPHY?
In a word, NO! Just something we have not seen in a while.
PAST EXPERIENCES IN TACTICS
I cannot stress enough how much of a change we will see this coming season in terms of style from last season, a more free flowing attacking football style, something we have not seen at united since 2008-09 season when we had Ronaldo,Tevez and Rooney spearheading a team at the peak of its powers, culminating in a Champions League triumph in 2008. In that season we played a 4-4-3 formation where the front 3 was interchangeable with a solid 3 behind them in Carrick, Scholes and Hargreaves, this midfield had everything. Hargreaves was the ball winner who’s job was exactly that, we had Scholes as the box to box midfielder who’s job it was to get up and down the pitch scoring goals and stopping the opposition starting their attacks. Then we had Carrick, the deep lying play maker, it was his job to take the ball when it was won and feed the front 3 and Scholes in dangerous positions.
Unfortunately since the sale of Ronaldo United moved to a more stagnated style of play built around winning and sensiable buying, not really a style that gets your juices flowing but come may it can leave you celebrating another title (which we did another 3 times). Under Sir Alex’s final 3-4 years we played WINNING football, the style built around winning more games over a 38 game season than our rivals. While Arsenal were dropping silly points over Xmas and Chelsea where in transition Utd only really had to worry about City, but a Man City under Mancini is an unstable one capable of reeling off 10 wins then infighting would break out and they could just as easily drop point over the following 10 games, this was never more proven than in Fergie’s last season in charge, nobody can say they enjoyed watching our style of play that season and if not for RVP we might of struggled, a lot of the time the tatics was to by pass the midfield and get the ball to Robin and hope he scores and over the 38 games he did and won us another title and the third since Ronaldo and left. All seemed rosie and as normal on the outside but us united fans knew major changes where needed and fast!
THE CHANGE IN 2013 – MOYES
Towards the end on the title winning season of 2012-13 Sir Alex announced his retirement and a new successor was quickly put in place for the upcoming new season, This was David Moyes.
There was a strange feeling Amongst the fans to this decision by the club or more Fergie who seemed to have made the call to install Moyes, on the face of it he seemed a decent appointment he shared a lot of similar views and methods to Sir Alex but the one thing he lacked was EXPERIENCE! Fergie had it in abundance he commanded it, when he tells you to do something you done it no questions asked, even if you thought different!
If it worked Fergie got the tatics spot on, and if it didn’t it was the players who failed to execute them properly how could you argue? If you followed Sir Alex you won titles if you didn’t you were gone.
Moyes on the other hand had no experience whatsoever , if he told you to do something and you disagreed they voiced there feelings, if the tatics succeeded the players got it right, if they failed the players had vindication in there views.
The rumblings appeared after little more than 6-7 games in to the season, the word was the players were not enjoying training with the seemingly outdated training methods and backroom staff, this was another gaff for Moyes, getting rid of all the previous backroom staff and installing all his own. You put yourself right in the firing line of the players if things don’t go well, without a Steele or Mulenstine for the players to go to they had Round and Woods, people they percieved as ‘Moyes men’ so the frustration would just sit amongst the players which is never great.
The style had changed, more focus was put on not conceding rather than scoring, United players aren’t used to losing but it was soon becoming something they seemingly would have to get used to. records were broken all over the place and not the good ones either, home defeats to West Brom, Everton and Spurs to name a few. We lost to all our rivals apart from Arsenal and a dour 0-0 at home to Chelsea.
After the Champions League encounter with Olympiakos fc away where united went to Greece in the first leg, they played bad and I mean real bad, I had not seen a performance like that in a very very very long time and it was blatant for all to see, Moyes had to go, things were not going to get better and he had lost all respect in the dressing room.
That change came later in the season after United it was confirmed united had missed out on the Champions League for the first time in decades.
We ended up finishing in a lowly 7th in the league and nowhere near a major trophy.
The search was underway for a new manager in under a year since hiring a new one.
The favorite from the start was Louis Van Gaal but there was plenty of other candidates in the mix as well, but United decided on Louis Van Gaal.
NEW MANAGER NEW ERA?
Well what will Louis Van Gaal bring? If you simply Google what ex players from his previous clubs say, you will read such quotes as ‘Louis van Gaal is ‘special’ and commands the respect of older players while bringing through young talent’ Andreas Inesita.
This is exactly it in a nut shell. Van Gaal is a winner but more importantly than that a planner, he likes to leave a legacy in place, take Ajax in the early 90′s and then look how many great players they have produced even today, that team was not a one off Van Gaal had built a dynasty there one that will, if stuck to and embraced continue to produce these great players although now it is much harder for them to keep them.
Look at Barcelona, Cruyff started the direction the club went in, but as Laporta said recently, when Cruyff left they realized they had not learned his methods just simply used them over his tenure. So Van Gaal was brought in and tasked with continuing the success with a certain style while putting in structures and foundations for the club to continue after his departure.
At AZ he guided the ‘Fulham of the league’ to the title, but was not there for that long to really leave a lasting imprint in the club.
At Munich they say he is one o the best managers in the world and one of the best they had ever had.
So what will we see from him, how will we he set us up to play and what will he leave behind?
Well here I will tell you how he has done it in the past and what I would expect him to do here.
First its worth noting that Van Gaal is a great tactical manager, he is able to adjust his tatics to his personnel and opposition. But his preferred formation is 4-3-3 .
He likes his fullbacks to provide width that his normal inverted wingers can don’t. He want his midfield to control the game and defending always starts from the front, he likes the front three to hunt the ball down and win it back then reuse it fast and accurately. In midfield he likes a similar combination to what we had in 2008, a play maker along with a box to box player and ball winner.
In defense its a similar set up we are used to seeing at united to, they are expected to be able to defend well and also comfortable bringing the ball out when needed, the full backs will attack but the midfield will cover if needed.
the team will attack and defend as a unit and more focus will be put on technique and the ability to change style and positions without dropping in performance.
With all this in mind i would expect a team like this in a ideal world for Van Gaal,
GK – De Gea
RB – Rafa CB – Miranda CB – Jones LB – Shaw
CM – Herrrea CM – Vidal CM – Strootman
RW – Di Maria LW – Kagawa/Mata
ST – RVP
This would be Van Gaal perfect set up but i don’t think we would get those players not mention Strootman injury so until he gets together his players for that set up I would expect a more 4-2-3-1 but until I see the signings we make I cant see who plays where as plenty are able to do roles in those positions needed i.e Rooney can play LW.
Thanks for taking the time to read this and I hope this gives everyone a little idea what we cn look forward to seeing this season coming.