We’ve heard the fanfare before.
This time last season it was David Moyes being praised as the man to lead Manchester United into a new era.
Branded Sir Alex Ferguson’s “Chosen One”, The Manchester United club expected that all that needed to be done was to hand the reins over to the former Everton manager. It was arrogantly assumed that success would continue as it had for many years so long as Moyes somehow did things “like Fergie”.
What followed as a humiliating slide from 1st to 7th place in a disappointingly lackluster season.
Before the last game was played Moyes was sent packing.
To many observers, he was never going to be a good fit for the Red Devils.
Even the manner in which he was chosen suggested that he was merely a man following orders and struggling to keep up.
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) May 19, 2014
Louis Van Gaal is not a “deer in headlights” type, something for which Moyes was roundly mocked. Van Gaal is a very capable, confident, and willful manager.
The 62-year-old will be the first man in the Manchester club’s 136 years to take up a management position while hailing from some place other than Britain or Ireland.
If given the opportunity to truly take control, Van Gaal could represent a new and brilliant chapter for United. But in order to do that, the past under Ferguson must be fondly remembered but also let go.
— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) May 19, 2014
Van Gaal is not Ferguson and he likely will not have the patience to suffer criticism of failing to make the same decisions and have the same influence as the departed Manchester United icon.
In addition to the inevitable comparisons, Van Gaal will also be dealing with replacing aging members of a squad that is long overdue for refreshing.
He’s going to need a great deal of financial backing, especially as many of the world’s best players are reluctant to move to clubs that are transitioning and lacking in champion’s league football.
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) May 19, 2014
Fortunately for Manchester United, they are early in their rough patch. What happens with Van Gaal will ultimately depend on an ability to see him as his own man, to appreciate what he brings as a talented coach, and above all…the ability to not resent him as an outsider.
As things soured, Moyes was given the “outsider” treatment.
Will the same happen to Van Gaal if he fails to deliver CL football immediately?
Image via Wikimedia Commons