The instalment of Van Gaal as Manager appears to already be paying its dividends. Last year, United’s players resembled lost sheep at times. Following preseason, United appear to be in a better state of mind then last year. By his own admission. he places a lot of emphasis on the players’ psychology. So far, he has always played with a 3-5-2 formation however, following his World Cup exploits, van Gaal has what it takes to change formation if the need arises during a match. Again, last year United appeared to have only a Plan A.
At any stage, it would have been difficult to think of United performing worse than last year. However, any such doubts seem to have been completely erased following the American Preseason Tour. Therefore, in my opinion, the only way is up for United. Which position would be a realistic one at this stage?
United do not need a big squad this time round due to the lack of European football. Despite this, United appear to be a bit short of players in central defence and central midfield. As things stand, an injury to either Jones, Smalling or Evans would mean that an untried defender would need to step in. is Van Gaal willing to run this risk? I believe not. Hopefully, a new defender will be signed in the coming weeks.
Interestingly, in five pre-season games, United have conceded 4 goals, 3 of which being penalties and the other a freak yet amazing goal when Roma’s Pjanic caught Ben Amos out of position and scored from his own half.
Darren Fletcher’s first full preseason in a number of years senses as if its a new signing. His performances in America were very encouraging and his presence is very much welcome. Despite this and in addition to Carrick’s long term injury United’s midfield is still calling out for someone to boss the midfield.
It will also be interesting to see how the players who did not travel to America, like Januzaj, Fellaini and Powell will feature in Louis Van Gaal’s plans.
The key person for United this season will be Van Gaal if he works his magic (which seems like he already is), United will be able to do well and possibly achieve what many are not even considering.
Having greater time to prepare for league matches when compared to rivals is already a big bonus. Should United address central defence and central midfield, I believe that a Top Four finish will be an easy task.
Further additions to the squad and a good early run (where fixtures favour United), the Red Devils may transform themselves into title challengers and possibly winners.
We are in for a roller-coaster ride and I am pretty sure that we will be well entertained.