It’s been 5 years since Louis van Gaal left Manchester United.
Having managed the likes of Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Ajax, the Dutchman was no stranger to the big occasion and when he joined the Reds back in the summer of 2014, all looked set for Van Gaal to go on and succeed at Old Trafford.
As personalities go, there are few more controversial than Van Gaal. His entertaining press conferences combined with his unusual personality made him a real character and if only his personality matched his football playing style on the field, then the Dutchman would have been a massive success at Old Trafford.
Throughout his two year stay at the club, Van Gaal divided opinion and despite winning the FA Cup and securing a top four spot the previous season it wouldn’t be enough for him to keep his job. The persistent rumours linking Jose Mourinho with the hot seat certainly didn’t help matters. Being the manager of Manchester United is hard enough as it is without having to deal with constant speculation over your future.
His defensive playing style is what would ultimately prove to be Van Gaal’s downfall at Old Trafford.
Under the Dutchman, United became set up much more defensively and it wasn’t what the reds faithful were used to seeing and when results started going south midway through his second season his days were looking increasingly numbered.
United are a team that has historically always played attacking football and to change that was never going to work. Even if Van Gaal had won the Premier League and European Cup the fans still wouldn’t have been happy because the football style wasn’t right.
Despite not hitting the heights, I actually think Van Gaal did a good job at Manchester United. He was brought to the club at a time when United were going through a transitional period and he steadied the ship.
Signing Anthony Martial, bringing through Marcus Rashford and winning the FA Cup are without doubt some of his finest achievements he made at Old Trafford and it would have been interesting to see what would have happened had he got a third season at the club.