Then suddenly the boy pointed at the Emperor and shouted out , ‘Look the Emperor is wearing no clothes’.
As Van Gaal splurges on reliable purchases like so many sensible pairs of shoes I’m beginning to feel underwhelmed by United’s prospects this season , no centre back , De Gea on the way and the new season right on top of us . The centre half position is so important and I’m sure LVG is aware it needs sorting , but in truth look at the money Man City have splashed out trying to find one that can fit in and it’s obvious that there’s few truly great ones out there even if you’ve got oil money spilling out of your empty blue seats.
After the dreadful season under Moyes where confidence seemed to drain away with each match we suffered what looked like an even duller one at times last season , I was wondering what United fans of a certain age would have made of Big Ron or Tommy Docherty’s style of play when we finished top 4 in the 70′s and 80′s . Then we saw United teams playing a much more entertaining free style of football and exciting us most weeks , and I’m afraid 4th is exactly where I think United will finish this coming season. A ploddy boring rigid makes Dave Sexton look like Matt Busby 4th. It’ll be a season of moaning from fans about the predictability of our game , the lack of a world class centre half , Rooney will drop deeper and deeper in frustration to go looking for the ball and God help us if he gets injured, Depay/Mata will be substituted by Fellaini every game, Herrera will have splinters in his arse all season and we’ll see players constantly passing it back and sideways and Carrick deputising in an ever changing central defence when he’s not in the treatment room.
Van Gaal’s Ajax were great to watch 20 years ago , and he won the league with Bayern Munich ( who else was going to win it) and he’s won the Dutch league (so has Steve McClaren) . I thought Holland were boring in the World Cup and for a lot of last season United with better players available looked worse than they did under Moyes and dithering Dave did have the excuse of fixture congestion loads of injuries and a thin squad yet even then he managed to get United to the semi-final of the league cup and the quarter final of the Champions league and that when for most of the season we were minus RVP and for a large chunk missing Wayne Rooney too.
I’m fed up we couldn’t get the best out of Di Maria . When Di Maria pitched up he looked fantastic , a few weeks of LVG’s regime and he looked confused and demoralised and let’s be honest , he wasn’t the only United player who looked that way . My observations on most of last season‘s football was that we looked predictable and very entrenched in a system that seemed to take all the fun out of the game . I found myself getting excited at our posession stats and then realising the football over the past 18 months had been so dull most of the time , it was like being starving and eating a pot noodle , any food will taste gourmet if you’re hungry enough . The reality for me is that is not the way I want to see United play.
Everything seemed to be passed out to the wing and then passed slowly back inside or back to the full back and methodically across to the other wing while the opposition got more men behind the ball than the pre-season team photo. I’d look at Valencia on the right , poised to run at a defender then suddenly check and pass it back to a centre back , and Young or Blind do the same on the other side. Even when that system came together and we looked good like we did against Spurs at Old Trafford or Man City or the result against a poor Liverpool side , I still felt
we were too rigid and there seemed no fun or flair about much of our play. I don’t really like top class players playing out of position anyway, they can do a job , or as the hated phrase goes ‘put a shift in’ , but that’s not what I pay to see at Old Trafford . I’m not interested in players doing shifts and dull production line workman like shifts at that , I’m interested in seeing George Best , Ronaldo, Giggs, dash and flair, not some flair player trying to stay in position and not take a risk and slowly watching his confidence drain with every touch and that’s the inevitability when very good players play out of position .
I have little faith in the abilities of Rojo or Daley Blind and worry about getting the best out of Schneiderlin in the current set up. I’m also concerned that Schweinsteiger who could really make all LVG’s plans work is now a crock who’ll never be back to his best and United really need a fully fit and committed Schweinsteiger of 2010 era if they are to win anything this season . The proposed signing of Pedro says it all to me. He’s reliable, doesn’t give it away , intelligent, has pace and ability , but he’s a player that may give you that direct run and dribble past a defender about once every 4 games , probably why Van Gaal wants him. He may not excite us , but he won’t give the ball away stupidly , wow I’m on the edge of my seat already.
So there you have it. I’ve never felt so little hope going into a season and the dread of supporting one of the dullest footballing sides in the PL . This is my nightmare vision for next season and I’m afraid the only success I can envision for United in 2015/16 is if you’re putting an X next to our home fixtures on your pools coupon and as for our European Championship qualifier , let’s just say I am not convinced it’s going to be as taken as read as some United fans do, remember this is real football made up of real footballers and not FIFA on your X-Box .
I hope I’m wrong and Depay finds his feet , he certainly seems keen and he’s got pace and skill – but will he be played in the best position to get that side of his game , I hope that Rooney gets decent service and doesn’t have to go chasing deep to get in the game while getting frustrated at his colleagues and a system that I’m not sure suits him and that occasionally Van Gaal takes a risk and goes all out by making attacking subs and swarming forward in other words letting his players actually play because another season of possession stats and so-called ‘philosophy ‘ is filling me full of dread .
Perhaps Van Gaal’s system will click in and we look as good a side as that Ajax one he had 20 years back , except for the strong belief I hold , that the United side under Fergie of that era had they been allowed to play their 1st choice team would have strolled it against that Van Gaal Ajax side.