It seems almost an eternity since Alex Ferguson was leading Manchester United’s dominance of the Premier League.
Ferguson is the greatest manager the Premier League has ever seen. During his time at Old Trafford he won a remarkable 37 trophies, including 13 Premier League and two Champions League titles.
When the Scot decided to retire, everyone knew it was going to hit the club hard, but they underestimated how far backwards the side would go.
David Moyes was his initial replacement, but unfortunately he endured a very slow start and the board decided to cut their losses and get rid of the former Everton boss.
Louis van Gaal is the man at the helm now, and the no nonsense Dutchman has certainly made some strange decisions during his reign. Decisions that have often reflected badly on United.
It is as if the experienced manager is on a personal mission to ruin Manchester United. The most recent area of focus has been towards the former Holland manager’s dealings in the transfer market.
The Dutchman has lived by the phrase ‘quantity not quality,’ embarking on a spending sprees in each of the two summer windows.
It appears his main aim has been to remove all the remaining pieces of the Fergie title winning squad from 2013. Only nine players still remain at the club from that side.
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Since he took over he has spent over a quarter of a billion pounds. Big money signings like Anders Herrera, Angel Di Maria and Memphis Depay should have put the Red Devils in line with the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City.
Unfortunately it hasn’t worked out that way. The side couldn’t be further from their rivals and look involved in a battle just to qualify for the Champions League, let alone trying to challenge for the title.
Angel Di Maria was meant to be the big marquee name that was going to lead United to glory, but the player just didn’t fit into the van Gaal regime, the Argentine struggled to replicate anywhere near the form he showed at Real Madrid. He was shipped out to PSG after just one year for a £20million loss.
Now he has made another risky big money signing in Anthony Martial from Monaco.
At 19-years-old the Frenchman is in the very early stages of his career, he is still learning and now is moving to Old Trafford with a crazy amount of pressure to succeed on his shoulders because of that ridiculous £36million fee.
There could be a feeling of deja vu next summer if Martial fails to make an instant impact.
Of course transfers aren’t the only area that needs to worry United fans. Tactically Van Gaal doesn’t have a clue what is best for his side.
He has bought in a dull, direct style of football that has no impetus on attack.
It is often painful to watch and is ruining some of the side’s best players, including Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata.
Rooney is struggling to make any kind of effect as a lone striker. He is often left completely isolated and finds himself coming deep to win the ball but instead of having someone to aim for up front like in the past.
As for Mata he is one of the best number 10’s in the league, but he finds himself forced out on the wing where he Spaniard struggles to have the impact we all know he is capable of.
It is a lose/lose situation. Van Gaal is likely to be too stubborn to realise where he is going wrong and if the players become frustrated they can find themselves on the long list of high profile names he has had bust ups with.
Ruud Van Nistelrooy, Rivaldo, Luca Toni and Hristo Stoichkov are just some of the players that have found themselves at war with the United boss in previous years.
Stoichkov has made no secret of his spat with the former Barca boss, telling the media how he nearly ruined Barcelona and is going to do the same thing to Manchester United.
Despite not being at United all that long we have already seen several players endure a run in with the veteran manager.
Victor Valdes has become and outcast thanks to Van Gaal and their run in over his apparent refusal to play in the reserves. It was only a couple of years ago Valdes was the main man at Barcelona. He is too good to be left in the reserves.
Now Marcos Rojo is the latest casualty. His time at United looks close to ending with the Argentine falling to the bottom of the pecking order after his row regarding the passport issues on the club’s pre-season tour.
It is not just the members of the current squad that suffer because of the negative atmosphere following the arguments. It has been rumoured Pedro turned down United because he didn’t like the treatment his friend Valdes had received.
The list of players who don’t want to play for the experienced manager is continuing to grow and when it deprives United of one of their top transfer targets, then you can see there is a massive problem.
United are never going to move forward with Van Gaal in charge, the board need to realise this soon before the Dutchman gets let loose in another transfer window.