United dominant but now comes the real benchmark

Wayne Rooney, Manchester City

Manchester United’s six-game winning streak – in the Premier League at least – is remarkable for many reasons. Not least because this is now a United side high on belief, quick in the pass and effortlessly creative – three qualities that Louis van Gaal’s side has infrequently demonstrated this season. And yet, save for defeat […]

Van Gaal’s aura sets him apart in an era of change

Louis van Gaal

Only a few months ago there remained a section of Manchester United’s support that suggested David Moyes should have remained in charge at Manchester United. False equivalencies were made, comparing points totals from different seasons, and £150 million reasons were offered as to why Moyes had it harder than Louis van Gaal. If Moyes under-achieved […]

Once lost, now found at Anfield

Juan Mata

Rant could feign indifference. Not that, somehow, there wasn’t full of joy taken from Manchester United’s outstanding victory over Liverpool on Sunday, but that schadenfreude didn’t take complete hold. The truth, however, is that there is very little more enjoyable than beating Liverpool at Anfield. Better still when the opposing captain departs in rambunctious ignominy – […]

Van Gaal’s only option is to attack

Wayne Rooney, Ander Herrera, Angel Di Maria

Manchester United has succumbed to a second season without silverware after defeat to Arsenal in the FA Cup on Monday. At most clubs, this might not be a big deal, where each trophy earned is cherished. The fact that United is in the midst of such tumult says much more about the club. Few clubs […]

Van Gaal’s mystique broken on the promise of rapid gain

Louis van Gaal, Ryan Giggs

There is in historiographic thinking a concept, an idea if you will, that advances in science, technology and society produce an improvement in the human condition. That, indeed, this “progress” is innately desirable. This idea is deeply ingrained in modern culture; that progress is the sum of these advances and, according to sociologist Robert Nisbet, […]

Van Gaal set to unleash width

Angel Di Maria

Manchester United’s 2-1 loss to Swansea City last weekend marked a new low in Louis van Gaal’s tenure at the club. With an unlikely hand from Liverpool, United remained in the top four, but with the Reds dangerously close to slipping out of the Champions League spots, and struggling to dispatch lower league sides, the […]

Time for Van Gaal to drop his stubborn front

Louis Van Gaal

It is as if the gripes and frustrations of several million Manchester United fans across the globe must now vent. Following another harrowing defeat at the hands of Swansea City – the second of the season – questions have unsurprisingly arisen regarding the direction of Louis van Gaal’s regime. The club may have lost just twice in the past 20 […]

Above all a team

Louis van Gaal, Robin van Perise

Outclassed, out-passed and creatively out-imagined at home by a side struggling to break out of the relegation zone –  last Wednesday Old Trafford witnessed Sean Dyche’s Burnley outplay Manchester United in almost every way. Yet, amazingly, it was Louis van Gaal’s side that earned three points at the end of the night to leapfrog Southampton […]

Rojo: United’s most satisfying surprise

Marcos Rojo

When the summer transfer window closed few would have anticipated that former Sporting Lisbon defender Marcos Rojo would establish himself as the best signing of Manchester United’s season. Acquired on a five-year deal for £16 million, the Argentine became the club’s third recruit of the off-season, following an impressive domestic season in Portugal in which […]

Long Ball United

Daley Blind, Marouane Fellaini

Strange times these. Not only is Louis van Gaal’s Manchester United side every bit as insipid as that presided over by David Moyes last season, but the Dutchman has seemingly taken on board his predecessor’s predilection for long-ball tactics. It’s in the data you know. And while statistics can tell many stories, for the moment […]