Philosophy… a word that has kept United fans and players hoping that things will come good eventually and United will be back to where they belong. So let’s try to analyze what exactly is Louis Van Gaal’s so called “Philosophy”.
Discipline– One of the most important aspect of Van Gaal’s philosophy is discipline, Van Gaal looks like a manager who demands discipline from his players, whether it is on the pitch or off it. The side which he inherited from David Moyes were all over the place at least in terms of discipline and we think he has done well to restore that.
Passing– Van Gaal believes in the passing game and keeping the ball, United have been accused of giving the ball away cheaply on numerous occasions but looking at their performances of late things have improved as far as this department is concerned. Van Gaal’s philosophy clearly depends on passing the ball but the reason why it has not been effective at Old Trafford is because in order to implement it you need each of your 11 players to be a good passer of the ball including your Goalkeeper, and clearly United have players such as Smalling, Jones and Evans who though have been regulars but are way off being considered decent passers of the ball and even one weak link in that chain destroys the whole move.
Another reason is that this side is relatively new and these players are still trying to understand each other’s game and movement. Every time Van Gaal has started with Herrera and Mata United have looked a side with much more purpose because that is the type of football he prefers.
Louis Van Gaal is known to improve players and that is the reason he normally has been successful in the second season of his tenure, his sides do come good once they understand his game and his “philosophy”. And whenever Van Gaal has left a club he has left them being a better team, recent example being Bayern Munich.
Versatility- Louis Van Gaal has been accused of changing the teams and formation a bit too much in his first season at Old Trafford and the critics have branded that as being unsure of his best 11 or his best formation, but he has always said he prefers versatile players and he likes the players to adapt to multiple systems.
There can be reasons to say it might hamper the players if they are played out of positions too much but given his success of the past he deserves to be trusted in his belief for doing so.
Verdict– In our opinion United have not looked a convincing side this season and with 200 million spent the results are demanded, but what we have to realise is football doesn’t depend on how much you spend, instead it is a process of getting together a team of good players who can play together.
Louis Van Gaal’s objective at the start of the season was to help United qualify for the Champions league and with 9 games to go United are on course to do that, so if they do finish in the top 4 United fans can really look forward to seeing a much better team in the next season probably with additions of a couple of good passers of the ball which complete the broken link.