Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The strong man who will lift Manchester United

It has been confirmed that Louis Van Gaal will be Manchester United manager next season, after he has taken the Netherlands to the World Cup. Mr. Van Gaal is a controversial but highly successful coach. With Ajax Amsterdam in the mid-1990s he won everything, including the Champions League. He was then in FC Barcelona where he won the league and the cup, but left amid controversy with players and in particular the media, who hated his strict personality. Mr. Van Gaal then went to the Dutch national team, and incredibly, returned to Barcelona for a short stint, but was quickly fired, and in 2004 returned to Ajax Amsterdam, only to resign.
In 2005 Mr. Van Gaal went to AZ Alkmaar, where he won a title, before going to Bayern Munich in 2009, winning everything and the title of best manager in 2010. It was never clear why he left, but in 2012 he returned as Netherlands manager.
Mr. Van Gaal is a strict coach, almost fearful. There is not much place for humour, but a no-nonsense approach, where the he prioritizes the offensive and technical qualities of the side. This will be good for Manchester United, who also in Alex Ferguson had a disciplinarian. On the other hand, Mr. Van Gaal has clashed with fans and management in other clubs when he is criticized. He may face criticism at some point in Manchester United, but will surely face it with a more stiff face than the soft David Moyes. In the end that is what Manchester United may need: a strong man.

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