When David Moyes took control of what can be termed the biggest football team in England, who would have thought that Manchester United would go on to become the laughing stock of England and the whole of Europe? Ferguson in his more than two decades as manager had turned the club to a model club with a whole lot of trophies hanging in the museum. Then came the time for the Scot to retire and what happened? He brought in his fellow country man to continue where he had stopped.
Before then, David Moyes had been at Everton for more than a decade with no single silverware to his name or club he managed. That he enjoyed his team with blue half of Merseyside was an understatement. He was a demigod there. The fact that he was always able to put them some levels above midtable every season was an achievement for the Tofees.
Suddenly, Moyes found himself handling the the most famous club in England. The fact that he was single handedly chosen by SAF was in itself an achievement for him. The season started and things got really bad. Trust the Manchester United supporters, they tried rallying round their new manager but things didn’t just seem right and towards the tail end if the season, he was sacked.
Manchester United ended up finishing seventh on the league table, missing the opportunity of playing any European competition.
With another season beckoning, Manchester United laid their hands on a tested and trusted manager by the name Louis Van Gaal. With credentials that show he is right for the job, the Dutchman began a massive overhaul, displacing a number of players he deemed surplus to requirements while bringing in a number of stellar signings. Football analysts that were of the opinion that United would find it difficult to attract good players due to lack of European football were in for a shock. First came Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw.
This was followed by the arrival of Di Maria from Real Madrid. Then this was followed up with the purchase of Marcos Rojo from Sporting Lisbon. And on transfer dealine day, the transfer coup that saw Radamel Falcao opt for Old Trafford took the whole footballing world by surprise. Another signing from Ajax was also completed that day in the name of Daley Blind and thus, Manchester United declared a statement of intent. Who says they wouldn’t attract good signings? From then until the just concluded weekend match, Manchester United have been showing signs of a re-emergence. That they will or will not make the top four this season is rather to early to judge. But there is definitely a new found hope within the Old Trafford hierarchy that things will definitely get better.
It would be worthy to note that United might not be so lucky in the transfer window if they fail to qualify for the Uefa Champions League next season. That they were able to pull it off this season is to be seen as a one-off and the possibility of it happening again will be low. Most good players in Europe wish to play in the Uefa Champions League and any team that doesn’t qualify fot the tournament always finds itself to blame. If in doubt, try asking Liverpool how they have fared in the past 5 seasons with regards to player transfers.
Although Manchester United is a big club and will continue to attract big names but missing out on champions league football again next season may mean the club will struggle to keep their current stars and even more difficult to attract big name players who will see missing out on champions league football for 2 consecutive seasons a bad sign.
Over to your Louis Van Gaal