At Old Trafford, do as the Dutch do

Published: September 14, 2014

United fans eagerly await to see if the Red Devils can establish themselves again as a force to be reckoned with in the English game. PHOTO: AFP

As the English Premier League season has started, and looks very exciting already with the clubs and respective fans eagerly waiting to have a look at the new signings, Manchester United fans might be most anxious about the new season.

United’s seventh position in last season’s league, their lowest ever in EPL history, and the sacking of former manager, David Moyes, hasn’t helped them in regaining much of their glory. But with Louis Van Gaal taking the hot seat at Old Trafford this season, after a successful World Cup campaign with the Netherland team, glory seems hopeful (a tad bit).

Van Gaal looks more focused and composed as the United manager because United won all the friendly matches during the US tour, defeating clubs like Real Madrid, Inter Milan, A S Roma and Liverpool in the final of International Champions Cup 2014. But the task still remains a tough one, especially since the new season has already started poorly for United, with no wins in three matches.

Most of their experienced defenders, like Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidić, and Patrice Evra, have left Old Trafford while other non-performing players like Nani, Anderson, Wilfried Zaha, Shinji Kagawa, Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernández were let go by Van Gaal. Similarly, as the summer transfer window is bustling away, Gaal has signed attacking stars like Ander Herrera, Angel Di Maria, Radamel Falcao (on loan), and quality young defenders in Marcos Alberto Rojo, Daley Blind and Luke Shaw. Besides that, Van Gaal has revealed his play strategy of a 3-5-2 system to make good use of his strikers.

So, in order to make this play strategy successful, the wing backs would have to work extremely hard moving up and down the field, especially considering the internal competition present between Mata, Wayne Rooney, Van Persie and Falcao regarding attacking positions. But if Gaal truly wants glory, he could also change the play and morph it into a 4-3-3 system – in my opinion this strategy suits United and its players as well.

With Rooney named as the new team captain, fans eagerly await to see if the Red Devils can establish themselves again as a force to be reckoned with in the English game. One cannot doubt the Dutch coach, considering his past record, glory fans have yet to see if he can do wonders with his new club as he did with his previous ones. Let’s keep those fingers crossed and hope for the best!

Bilal Muzaffar

Bilal Muzaffar

A freelance sports writer who would like to work as a professional sports analyst in the future and is currently doing his MS. A big football fan who also enjoys watching F1, tennis and cricket. He tweets @bilal__mu (

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