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Football News: Manchester United circa 2016: Because predictions are fun...

Manchester United circa 2016: Because predictions are fun...
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So here I am about to write, quite possibly, the billionth prophetic article column ;) about what's about to befall my dear knights in shining armour, it really is quite shiny and brand new too; courtesy of those good folks (mostly some weary cobblers and an eager yet kind and gentle tailor who goes by the name of herbert hainer) over at Herzogenaurach, Bavaria ( this torn down woodshed i would wager) , and they even gave us some money along just for some good measure. How about that eh!!... The exact amount eludes me but a guestimate suggests 750 Pounds or maybe 7500.., who cares right :D

I will not, however, let this, ahem, column slip ) away, i just want this cluster of words to be only three things: Short, Street & Simple... Street coz that's where I is frum.

But I digress..

I am going to lay down all my cards (straight flush!! Booyakaasha - Ali G™) right now and just say i think that manchester will be redder than ever, i think this is the year that errbody finally understands what philosophy means in dutch. There's plenty of historical evidence to back this rather bold claim up too for the google enthusiasts among us so i am going to spare myself the pain of scouring the internet for a bunch of dots accompanied by some numbers on a rather miserable depiction of a football field.. instead of looking at those numbers i wanna listen to them and, i tell you what folks, they are screaming success. It won't be all a bed of roses, i must forewarn, my friends and I, in the next few lines typed with the cushiest of keyboard keys honest money can buy, am going to try and make sense of and hopefully spread some calm, because we can always use some calm...

I am just going to get some minor quibbles out of the way before we get to the real good stuff.


Let start with Mr. Luis Van gaal, the van with a plan. He certainly got off to a dream start what with beating liverpool (always a pleasure) and real madrid in the first few games and the apology calls for dissing the Intelligence of dutchman's often maligned 3-5-2 had his phone ringing off the hook when an, seemingly, easy-ish 1st game of the season presented itself and reality struck, and it struck hard. 5 points from the first 5 league games and suddenly the nay-sayers come out in full force calling for the head of "lame luis". There were a few blips of hope with the arrivals of Luke Shaw, Ander Herrera and Dailey Blind, especially with the latter's ability to play in the midfield, many thought the gaping holes in the engine room had now been filled and by the end of the transfer window, many pundits were proclaiming United to have the best attack-force in the league, and we all know that pundits are always right, right .

Well, things had a bit of a downward trajectory from there onward through to the last couple of months and the crescendo reached with an absolute gut-wrenching result against Arsenal in the FA cup despite the okay-ish performance from the reds and the doomsday preppers came running with their pitchforks (interesting bit of trivia: the very same used by our players in the new adidas campaign, see it if you haven't; mata looks like he is hanging on to the pitchfork lol) and the end was in sight as the next 5 games were fellow top-four contenders as well as toppers and most had pegged us crumbling down like fine french pastries.

Well as it turned out they did manage to not only get the results but also managed to show us a glimpse of whats to come and i am, by no means, suggesting its all down to LVG, instead it couldn't be further from the truth. Reality is that, it took a number of things to transpire for this collective to function well and i just think that a smart chap such as mr. van gaal would try to be in a bit more in control this term around and i am quite certain, won't fall prey to circumstances as much this year quite evident from just the strengthened grace and a spring in the step on display from United in the matter of a certain spanish favorite who plies his trade between the posts, and the dutch cruise control is there to be seen what with the reduced tour dates and a more smoother transfer window so far with a lot of activity reported to have been in the works for quite a few moons.

Why i think this year will be the year of the dutchman and HIS posse is simply because it is HIS squad now and all the nuts and bolts (except for a bolt or two) seem to have been acquired through meticulous scouting and attention to detail, and i bet alot of nit-picking was involved too, and now there is just some assembly required :). Luis will inevitably tinker with the squad and do what he has always done best, which is to coach players into improving themselves and it is on this pillar that this writing piece is standing on because of all the clubs in all the land our boys in the red seem to be the ones most in need of improvement and some would even argue, most potential of improving too, not all but still quite a few. It is through his reliance, nay insistance, on these tried and tested conscientious training and coaching techniques which got him this job in the first place, after all new class has been due sicne 92 and not many names overshadow Van gaal's when it comes to nurturing academies.


Another thing that should give one more hope is his honesty. The old adage exists for a reason, it works. Whether it's ego driven or his mother taught him well, he seems to be upfront about most thing which sometimes, admittedly, gets on this writer's nerves and rightly so as i am sure most disciples of Sir Alex ferguson's version of philosophy would consider revealing team sheets, even 2 hours before a match to be a cardinal sin and with good reason, yet Mr. Van Gaal seemed quite at ease to do just that with disconcerting frequency last season and most recently against the troubled spurs. That sort of arrogance comes from a place of winning and as sure as daylight will rub off and is rubbing off on people around him. Slowly but surely as they say...Apart from that he always seemingly is quite genuine in his praise and criticism in post match interviews, he's hardly come after a poor performance saying "i think we played well" unlike some other managers i know, I am looking at, oh gosh, almost every other manager. His decision to bench, substitute, not play, criticise and eventually let go his 2nd favorite van also is a clear sign of a man who understand the brutality of the business he is in. Or maybe he found himself a new favorite, Daley Blind.


So in an attempt to wind down i'd like to part ways with a thought. What if behind every player played out of position, for every baffling act of substitution or lack thereof, for ever changing team selection and all the tinkering is this great mechanism at play not unlike an orchestra requiring absolute perfection in timing and like Gustav Mahler, Van Gaal is waving his baton around unifying his troops, setting the tempo, listening ever so critically to shape the sound and perhaps its not all about the bass anymore, but the treble :)

And If you'er still worried, repeat after me; giggsy is still here, giggsy is still here. Hey, are you banging your chest and pretending to be Matt Mcconaughy?

Written by The Raconteur August 10 2015 14:54:13