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Van Gaal Sets Top Four As Minimum Goal

Sky Sports report that Louis van Gaal has set his Manchester United side a target of reaching the top four at the end of the season, and firmly believes that it will happen.

Speaking in his Press Conference ahead of Saturdays trip to Burnley, van Gaal set the precedent for his side after a more than disappointing start to the season. Van Gaal said:

“I hope we shall succeed and that we are this year in the top four, because the Champions League suits a club like Manchester United.

“Then maybe the next step is to be champions and the next step after that is to be winner of the Champions League, but that needs time. A lot of clubs fight for many, many years and never succeed.

“We can still be the champions of England in my first year. Maybe you will laugh but in my former clubs I have started like this so for me it is not big news.”

This is a welcomed positive in a season that has so far delivered nothing but misery in its relatively young age, and all this culminated in the midweek humiliation in Milton Keynes. However, the belief of the manager should transfer through to players and fans alike as United look to set things back on track against the Premier League new boys Saturday, and set the 4-0 hammering back as a distant memory. Van Gaal then went on to say:

“We can still be the champions of England in my first year. Maybe you will laugh but in my former clubs I have started like this so for me it is not big news.”

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Before finishing with:

“I was a king in the United States, and now I am not a king any more? I am the same Louis van Gaal with the same record and the same philosophy, and I am very confident I shall succeed here.”

And he is right. On both counts. Van Gaal has had poor starts at previous clubs, and then gone on to win the league with them. Not to say I am believing for a second we will win the league, it isn’t over until mathematics dictates, and a shake up of the squad – including shipping out the useless and bringing aboard the World Class – may well end up doing the business required. He’s done it before so why not again?

His final point is also true. In pre season everyone was raving. ‘Under van Gaal we’ll certainly finish in the top four’ and ‘We’re a different animal this season’ were being banded about by every Tom, Dick and Harry, but now the belief seems to have ebbed away as fans and media alike all claim that there is far more work to be done than pre season suggested and van Gaal may not be all that special.

The aim of reaching the top four is by no means outlandish, and the new boss should know the capabilities of both the remaining squad and those being bought in, and also of himself. Hearing this positivity is refreshing and a stark contrast to last season where the words ‘hope’ and ‘try’ were all too common. A win against Burnley and a plethora (well, two or three) of new signings and departures could be the confidence boost needed to make the Dutchman’s prophecy a reality and springboard United back to where they belong.

Beyond that may only look like something that can be speculated on but is not entirely impossible. With the right amount of investment and if van Gaal stays for the duration of his contract, then why can’t he take us back to the heights that now feel a distant memory?

We’ll start with this season and see, but top four is certainly attainable, winning the league merely a pipe dream, but van Gaal’s confidence a constant. I don’t know about you, but I’m eating this up, and it tastes nice, let’s just hope come May there isn’t a bitter after taste.

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