Van Gaal then. Since we last spoke. Or rather I typed and you read it. Mr Aloysius Paulus Maria van Gaal has taken the Red Devils to the States. He’s moaned about commercial commitments, he’s talked up wanting Strootman, he’s chewed out Wilf Zaha for messing about, he’s hugged Wayne Rooney, implemented a new system and he’s guided us to two victories.
Each time he speaks I find myself more and more intrigued. He seems very astute. Very controlling, too, but also approachable. I’m very, very impressed with his conduct and the vibe from each press conference is one of total, commanding, respect. Mourinho tried a dig in the past week discussing Shaw’s wages. I’m sure he’ll be put into place, firmly, by his old boss this season.
As I stated last week, the team selections were not important – but I was VERY interested in the shape. With good reason too, as both times we’ve played this summer we’ve seen the team line up with 3412 (or 352). We’ve not looked great defensively using this shape, but we’ve known we need an all action midfielder to partner Ander Herrera for a long time. We’ve just lost Patrice Evra, Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic too, so a commanding centre half is a must have as we’re short on both numbers and quality, really, for the back line. As I said to you last week I think Mats Hummels and Arturo Vidal will be our main (and marquee) signings. Although on that, I don’t ever remember us constructing a marquee for any player. Do you? IF we manage to add both these players, I’d be delighted. Confident we can win the league with just those additions. As going forward this formation has got fire power. Two up front and a team not afraid to attack is going to result in entertainment at Old Trafford.
It was only LA Galaxy. Yes. It was. But it was an LA Galaxy in full swing of a season, peak fitness and a team with the best defence in the MLS. We put seven past them in a clinical fashion. Rooney getting two, Danny Welbeck with a screamer, Reece James (that’s Ham-mez post World Cup) bagging two from left back and Ashley Young scoring a brace too to complete the demolition. Our players took to the new formation better than anyone could have hoped. Ander Herrera. What a player we’ve got there. I saw bits of him in La Liga and thought he looked decent, but seeing him play twice now, with Rooney and Juan Mata buzzing round him makes you tingle. I can’t wait tip Robin van Persie gets in front of him. Those subtle runs he makes are going to be fed by a proper midfielder this term instead of our midfielder being over-fed. We’ll not miss you Ando!
Roma was a little bit of a difference story. A game played at the hottest part of the day seemed to sap our energy a little bit. Again going forward we look good. How sharp is Rooney looking by the way?! Another two from him and that ball to Mata for the Spaniard to get on the score sheet? Phew! Now that was HOT! The game descended into chaos a little bit once Captain Cleverley left the field. Am I joking? But the reds still held on and are so far two for two under Louis Van Gaal. Can’t ask for more than that.
Let’s be honest, this is 95% of the reason you wanted to click this link anyway, wasn’t it? Is he coming? Well. Maybe… I’m being told that the player wants the move and that United are prepared to pay what Juve are asking. But it’s not always that easy. Let’s look at a couple of things that are happening and I’ll allow you to make your own mind up.
Vidal has put his home up for sale.
Vidal has spoken to Chilean TV about the offer from United. What offer? Because…
United are actively denying we’re in for him.
United ONLY deny transfers that eventually turn out to be happening – see Shaw and Herrera.
Vidal said he was going to speak to his manager about his future today (Monday). Why would a player not moving do that?
I’m hopeful for some more movement this week and I think with the departure of Conte, Juve are going to probably make Vidal force the transfer through. So they don’t look like they sold Vidal easily and that was (probably one of) the reasons why Conte quit. This is a big complex deal. Not like the sort of chump change bargain buys that Liverpool are doing. These things, especially with United, for some reason, take some time.
So chill out asking every 5 mins what’s going on. But DO keep replying to EVERYTHING United’s twitter account posts with simply ‘Vidal’. That’s definitely not got boring yet.
Take it easy. I’m expecting to have some really positive news for next week’s column. If you want to get these columns direct to your inbox 1-day earlier then hit subscribe and be the first to hear about these column as well as our competitions!