Louis van Gaal has stated that facts prove the team this year is better than the team last year.
I won’t go down the road of disputing facts, there can only be one winner there. Whether or not they prove that the team is better than last year is debatable, circumstances have certainly been different.
Yes they went further in the Capital One Cup than they did but I would hardly call defeat AT HOME, to a Championship team, an improvement, not when nearly £300 million has been spent. Maybe an improvement having spent that amount of money would be winning it!
As they weren’t in the Champions League last year then yes, that has been an improvement, obviously. So lets compare with the year before that. David Moyes took United to the quarter finals having spent about £28 million.
He qualified from a group containing Bayer Leverkusen, Shakhtar Donetsk and Real Sociedad. United won four games and drew two. This, in my opinion, was a similar quality group to the one from which van Gaal has just failed to qualify. They then beat Olympiacos in the first knockout stage before losing to Bayern Munich. So with United in Europe, van Gaal is not even as good as David Moyes, who had previously been involved with the Champions League ONCE!
By the end of August of this year, when van Gaal had been in charge of fifty games, he had the same amount of wins as Moyes, twenty seven.
So, if he wants to be factual, United are better placed in the Premier League than last year. He conveniently forgets that they probably wouldn’t be if Chelsea weren’t having such a disastrous season and, if Liverpool and Tottenham continue their improvements, they might not be by the end of the season.
Since arriving at Old Trafford, van Gaal has dispensed with the services of a number of players. Those include; Rafael, Evans, Welbeck, Hernandez, Nani, van Persie, Buttner, Cleverley, Lindegaard and Fletcher. He has loaned out Adnan Januzaj and James Wilson. From these players I think I could pick a team which would beat the current one.
This doesn’t mean he was wrong to have a clear out and make room for new players. It means that, in general, the players he has brought in are no better than the players who have departed.
In a previous post I suggested that van Gaal was looking to win a trophy in the short term as he probably isn’t going to be there very long. I still think this is the case but I am not sure he is going about it the right way.
The only player with any real experience brought in has been Bastian Schweinsteiger.
If van Gaal is looking for a Premier League trophy or even a Champions League trophy, then he needs leaders. He needs players with experience of winning these competitions. Schweinsteiger is a good player but he wasn’t good enough for Bayern Munich any longer.
United are rumoured to be trying to bring Ronaldo back. Whilst I agree that he would be a good short term signing, they will only get him if and when Real Madrid no longer want him.
So United need to stop thinking about players no longer wanted by the other big clubs and start being leaders again. United should have a team full of players who are coveted by the others, not full of players who can’t even qualify from a very average Champions League group.
The simple question when trying to decide how good this United team is, is this; how many of United’s players would be first choice at Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich or PSG? Being even more realistic, how many of them would get into the team at Chelsea or Manchester City?
The way it is going we will soon be able to include Leicester City in these lists.
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