With the World Cup now firmly behind him, Louis van Gaal can concentrate on his Manchester United revival. There is quite a buzz around Old Trafford at the moment as fans anticipate the arrival of the Dutch maestro.
United legend Bryan Robson has been in the press recently talking about the Dutch managers World Cup performance and after seeing the Dutch team finish the competition in 3rd place, he is confident that the Red Devils will “bounce back straight away” under Van Gaal’s stewardship.
“You could see Holland were very well organised and there was discipline. Hopefully, he can bring that to Manchester. I think he will,” he added.
Bryan Robson was known as Captain Marvel during his time at United and was notorious for his commitment in the tackle and for being an organised and disciplined captain. As such, if anyone can see the value of a well organised and disciplined team it is Bryan Robson.
This week the team travel to the US for a pre-season tour against Roma, Real Madrid, Inter Milan and David Beckham’s former team LA Galaxy. This will be a fascinating set of pre-season matches as Van Gaal gets to grips with his new team. If anything these games will certainly be a stiff test of United’s defensive frailties ahead of the domestic season on 16 August.
As he discussed Van Gaal’s qualities for the Manchester United job, Robson went on to say “his CV is great, he’s got great experience with top clubs and top players.” Robson is not wrong in his assessment, Van Gaal has worked for some top teams during his footballing career and has won league titles with Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
That is a record not to be sniffed at and he will need all his experience because as Bryan Robson told BBC Sport, “A lot of the players let themselves down and didn’t perform the way they had under Sir Alex.” Again, he has a valid point, the United players will be desperate to get started on 16th August and make amends for last season’s dire performances.
It was those performances which ultimately cost David Moyes his job after he had been chosen to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson only 7 months prior, chosen by Sir Alex Ferguson himself! However, all that is behind them now and the new season awaits.
That said, the lack of European football will be disappointing but according to Robson this could be beneficial. “The players get a bit more rest and you don’t get as many injuries,” he said. “That can also be a real advantage.”
The new signings will have wet the appetite of fans ahead of the season opener against Swansea on August 6th. However, no one will want to see United struggling against mid-table opposition and the fans will be cautious as we Brits know that teams like Swansea can punish arrogant big names teams if they overlook them.
Bryan Robson was a key figure in Manchester United’s resurgence back in the early nineties, making over 500 appearances and scoring 99 goals in a red shirt. As such, he knows a thing or two about a winning Manchester United side and what makes them tick. So, if Van Gaal can satisfy Captain Marvel that he has all the credentials to turn around the shocking results of last year, who am I to argue.