In Louis Van Gaal’s first ever season in England’s Premier League, he’ll have a lot to deal with. The media, the paparazzi, opposing managers, Manchester United fans, even the general public.
His major concerns, though, will be in getting Man United among the league’s elite.
Van Gaal’s main headaches therefore will be in his team and GoalDig has decided to highlight five of the biggest headaches the Dutchman will have to address before he can get United firing once again.
1. Defensive cover
United lost their defensive spine when they released the duo of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic. That pairing had been one of the most dependable the Premier League had ever seen.
Coupled with the departure of Evra, Manchester United have lost, not only their defensive spine, but also leadership and a combined experience of more than 3 decades.
If any one, not less Louis van Gaal, believes that Johnny Evans, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling have shown enough capability to take over the defensive duties for the entire season, that person must be a joker in Chris Tucker’s Tuxedo.
Unsurprisingly, Vermalean opted for Barcelona ahead of the Red Devils, leaving Matt Hummels as the only other ideal option should LVG sanction the move.
2. Youth’s chance
Van Gaal has built a solid reputation as a manager who gives youth the chance to impress. Xavi, Iniesta and Kanu are only a few of the long list of world class players who had their initial breakthrough under van Gaal.
But with the urgent demand to get Manchester United playing like Manchester United and the extra need to compete for titles, it’s a big doubt if van Gaal will be looking towards the United reserves for any answers any time soon.
3. Deadwood clearance
He may not have to carry out a total shop clearance but van Gaal sure needs to get rid of deadwoods in his new team.
It will not be an easy task, though. Some of them are fans’ favourites, others just came into the team for huge fees less than a year ago. Louis van Gaal has to decide who to let go and when to let them leave without upsetting the balance of the team.
Nani, Ashley Young, Kagawa, Fletcher, etc are players Louis van Gaal will have to move on sooner or later.
4. Scholes’s hole
The hole in United’s midfield was so big even the irrepressible Sir Alex Ferguson had to coax Paul Scholes out of retirement to aid a final push for his and United’s 19th title win. But that is an ace van Gaal cannot pull out of his pack of cards anymore.
The English man is retired for good.
They’ve signed Ander Hererra who is a really good buy but he’s no Paul Scholes. The Spaniard will look to succeed where the likes of Kagawa, Cleverley and Fellaini have failed. Ander will have to weigh in with 20 odd goals from the middle this season to be considered anywhere near filling those big Scholesy shoes.
5. Rooney’s role
Defining Wayne Rooney’s primary role is as important as finding defensive solidity. Rooney is either an attacking midfielder or a striker. But he can’t be both.
He obviously wants to be made the next captain of Manchester United. And deservedly so, too. He has fought in United colours as a central midfielder, an attacking midfielder, a winger and a striker. And no one in this present United squad has probably given more to the Red Devils cause than Wayne.
But a more significant role should be clearly defined for Rooney once and for all, preferably as the second striker in LVG’s favoured 3-5-2 formation.
And then we can all look forward to everyone having a great season.