Season preview 2014/15

David Moyes

English is a language richer than most; an idiom to suit almost every nuanced turn of meaning, situation and experience. The language of Shakespeare, Morrisey and, well, Wayne Rooney. Take, for example, the belief that lightning never strikes twice, at least not in the same place – a subtle turn of phrase indicating that the unlikeliest of occurrence rarely repeats. While climatologists have, in reality, proven that lightning often does strike in the same place, Rant suspects that you get the gist.

Rant’s Premier Predictions 2014/15

Louis van Gaal

Each year Rant predicts the season ahead. Manchester United’s performance, the winners, the losers and the individual stars of the campaign. There have been mixed results over the years – check out 2009/10, 2010/11, 2011/12, 2013/14 and last season. It is, if anything, far more difficult this season than over the past five. After all, United’s miserable […]

Exodus

Rio Ferdinand

Movement of the people. Or, in this case, Manchester United players. By the end of the summer up to 14 first team or fringe players could have left the club as Louis van Gaal and Ed Woodward embark on a major programme of squad restructuring. Whether the flip side of that coin, new signings, arrive […]

Woodward under pressure as Vermaelen chase ends in failure

Ed Woodward

Strange business, the transfer window. Take Manchester United’s executive vice chairman, Ed Woodward, for example. Ostensibly charged with executing the Glazer family’s commercial vision, Woodward has been roundly lambasted for his performance in the transfer market over the past year. Indeed, few executives other than in football are judged – by outside parties at least […]

Up for the chop

Louis van Gaal

Louis van Gaal has rarely been a man to shirk responsibility. Less than a month into his Manchester United tenure the former Netherlands manager is set to call time on those fringe members of the squad who have failed to impress during the Reds’ successful summer tour. With no European football in the coming season, […]

van Gaal: a new hope

Ann-Arbor

It is, to paraphrase John Cleese, not despair, but hope that is so hard to take. Common idiom, perhaps, but one that has become more relevant to Manchester United supporters over the past 12 months. After all, there were plenty of false dawns in David Moyes’ calamitous Old Trafford reign before despair set in; many […]

United set to profit from van Gaal’s “Hollandisation”

Hollandisation

Criticism followed David Moyes in the manner praise seems to bless new Manchester United coach Louis van Gaal. The Iron Tulip’s magic touch kissed this summer’s World Cup as it had, for better and sometimes worse, at Ajax, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and AZ Alkmaar. There was little about Moyes to spellbind. Two weeks on the […]

van Gaal ushers in a brave new tactical dawn

Louis van Gaal training

While the 7-0 scoreline spoke amply to its effectiveness, it was Manchester United’s tactical complexity that astounded in Louis Van Gaal’s debut against LA Galaxy on Wednesday night. The veteran manager’s strategy was far more intricate and exotic than any employed by David Moyes’ yet the team carried out the plan with remarkable fluidly despite an […]

van Gaal gets busy erasing Moyes’ legacy

Louis van Gaal, Wayne Rooney

There has been no word on David Moyes’ fabled iPad bunker. You know the one – the Scot’s replica of Everton’s Finch Farm transfer headquarters: whiteboard lists of targets and touchscreen analytics married effortlessly to interactive profiles on players from Aberdeen to Zenit St Petersburg. It was, we were told, the modernisation of United’s archaic […]

Everything you wanted to know about pre-season

Louis van Gaal

Louis van Gaal’s 25-man Manchester United squad set flight for California on Friday ahead of a three-week pre-season tour of the United States – a regular summer fixture with so many stateside with sponsors to please. Games follow against LA Galaxy, AS Roma, Internazionale and Real Madrid before the Reds return home for the Premier […]