It’s that time of the year again: pre-season. I’m sure most fans look forward to it each summer but this summer there more reasons then ever to be excited about it. After a torrid season things are already looking up without us even playing a game. The level of excitement and even expectation of fans is immense. Not only have we got a new manager but a proven world class one who will take no nonsense but already we have 2 signings which is a pleasant change from last summer! The signing of Ander Herrera was a pleasant surprise, with basically zero gossip or talk from the press the story broke from Spain and within a few days there he was holding up the shirt.
Then literally only days later it emerged that Luke Shaw was headed to Manchester for a medical. This was amazing for the club, to get 2 targets signed and sealed so early and it created such a buzz among United fans. Not only were the two signings adding to the excitement so was the World Cup. First of all we’ve had such a treat with a month of none stop football and once that ended what are we supposed to do with ourselves!? All eyes turn towards pre-season, our next opportunity for some quality football. Secondly, it just so happened that our new manager was involved, guiding Holland to a 3rd place finish. This was a remarkable result after many including the Dutch media had written them off! Their squad was pretty average, nowhere near the best but van Gaal managed to get the best out of all of them. This aspect of his management could be huge for United after last season where the players just didn’t perform well enough. Watching Holland really excited United fans not only for Van Gaal, but also because Robin van Persie so played well and scored one of the goals of the tournament against Spain.
Van Gaal made bold moves that paid off, something Moyes would never do. We took off van Persie, the main man the captain and replaced him with Huntelaar, who ended up with a goal and an assist to send Holland through. Then in an even bolder move, LVG took off his goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen with only minutes until extra time. Again it paid off as his replacement Krul helped them win the penalty shootout. It’s easy to see why United fans are more excited than most ahead of their clubs pre-season. United kick their pre-season off vs LA Galaxy on the 23rd of July at 4AM UK time. It will be our first chance to see the squad preform under Louis van Gaal. Obviously with a large squad there’s a lot of possible line-ups. He could go for youth or experience or even a mixture of both. Personally here’s how I think we will line-up:
For the first game I think mainly experience ahead of the youngsters would be more suitable. Personally I’d love to see Zaha get a chance at United this season, I’m sure he has more to offer than Nani & Young who have been poor for at least two seasons now. He deserves a chance and in the last pre-season he flourished. Januzaj and Lingard were also standout youngsters last year but showing how far Januzaj has come he’s on break after a World Cup with Belgium. Lingard will certainly get a chance to shine again during pre-season but will be stay or go on loan for the season, that remains to be seen.