Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal still needs time

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After Manchester United’s victory over Sunderland this weekend it’s clear to see that Louis van Gaal still needs time to develop the 20-time champions over the summer should they qualify for the Champions League.

First of all, Arsenal’s victory over Everton on Sunday put the Gunners back into third place of the Premier League table above the Red Devils. Secondly, Liverpool’s victory over defending champions Manchester City moved them within two points of United and that has increased the pressure on Louis van Gaal and his players as they approach their final 10 games of the season.

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But what remains fresh in the heads of United fans is that they’re are not playing well despite sitting in fourth spot. That was proved against Swansea when they dominated possession but struggled to open up the Welsh side. So despite all the hope of the £150million signings producing magic in the first year of Van Gaal’s era, it’s a reality check that the Dutchman needs time and perhaps another transfer window before bringing trophies home.

The team has potential to thrive in the coming years but right now United are still undergoing a building phase as they look to establish themselves alongside Chelsea and City once again. For this reason, often in the season, a winning streak stumbles upon an unexpected loss. Something that absolutely characterises a team that still is under progression.

The first season without Sir Alex was always expected to be extremely difficult and it was as David Moyes found out. However, Van Gaal was always the more ideal manager to solve the problem with his guaranteed technical abilities, his football stamp and his strong personality getting to the senior players more quickly. This does not mean the work of the Dutch coach would deliver immediate results but the improvement has been there to see – with United winning games when playing badly – something they did under Ferguson regularly.

He’s come in and spent a lot of money which has included the signings of Angel Di Maria and Ander Herrera. However, buying good players do not mean an unbeatable team. They require time to be set and the 63 year-old boss is the right person to do that. At his last club Bayern Munich where he managed from 2009 to 2011, he lead the “Bavarians” to the Bundesliga crown in 2010 before losing the Champions League final in the same year to Jose Mourinho’s Inter Milan. Van Gaal then left and the side reached two consecutive finals Champions League (lost in 2012, winning in 2013), but a lot of credit went to Van Gaal for building the side which included the debut of Toni Kroos.

A typical example of his work is AZ Alkmaar, which within four years he built a team of underdogs that went on to win the Dutch championship in 2009. His most successful time was as the coach of Ajax (1991-1997). The Dutchman won the UEFA Cup in his first year (1992) and the Champions League four years later (1995), which shows that sticking with him and trusting him to get it right at United will only bring success.

Lastly, the most recent sample of the 63 year-old coach is his work with the Netherlands. He managed the team for two years and took them to a World Cup semi-final last summer in Brazil without his key player. Above all, he proceeded to a radical renewal, keeping a group of experienced players like Robin Van Persie and Arjien Robben and incorporating new players like Daley Blind.

From all this, it’s clear that Van Gaal is not afraid to take risks with his players, giving a starting place to anyone who can help the team. Furthermore, it is a big truth that good teams are built over time. This does not happen without losses such as the defeat to Swansea so its right the board and fans stick with him.

United still remain in the FA Cup and they could make huge strides towards winning the competition if they over Arsenal next weekend.

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