How soon should fans expect success from the Van Gaalacticos?

It was revealed at the beginning of this week that Manchester United are targeting a third-placed finish for this Premier League campaign. If achieved, this would bring back Champions League football to Old Trafford and, in doing so, satisfy the wishes of most fans for the year. However, some fans appear to get caught up in a little thing I like to call ‘FIFA football’ and believe that United should have bought another 4 world class defenders and Cristiano Ronaldo as a direct swap for Nani in the transfer window and then we would go on to win the league by 27 points. The question I’d like to ask is: how soon should fans expect success from this new-look Manchester United side?

When you take into account the poor start United have had, the recurring injury problems that United face and allowing Van Gaal and the new signings to gel and adapt to the Premier League, a third-placed finish would be a great achievement for this season. Yes, there is a valid argument that a club with the resources that Manchester United possess should be challenging for the title every season but one should be realistic with such claims. It is highly unlikely that a side that finished 7th and who struggled against the big sides last year could instantly raise the level of performance to that of a title contender. A period of time, I refuse to use the ‘T’ word that became so overused under Moyes, is required for the players to become acquired to the Van Gaal system, his philosophy and to gel together.

Louis Van Gaal has built a star-studded team and in doing so, will have drastically raised expectations from the fans that this United team could challenge for the Premier League. Even Van Gaal has stated in the past that his aim for the 3 years is to achieve Champions League football in the first season, win the Premier League in the second and win the Champions League in the third. This statement was made weeks before the transfer window had closed. After the signings of Di Maria, Falcao, Blind, Rojo, Herrera and Shaw along with the promises of more spending in the coming transfer windows, these aims suddenly hold some element of reality in them. These are the breed of player that Manchester United needs to buy in order to succeed at the highest level.

Expectations are set to rise further if United defeat QPR at Old Trafford tomorrow. But let’s be serious and no disrespect at all to QPR as they obtain some great players, the majority of teams in the top half of the league would expect to win at home to QPR. The main improvement that I am looking for is in United’s tempo, creation, flair and hopefully, a steadier defence. A victory and a clean sheet would go a long way in boosting confidence and team morale. I don’t think many fans are expecting United to instantly be able to zip it around and bamboozle the defence like the strike force of Berbatov, Tevez, Rooney and Ronaldo could a few years ago, but there is no doubt that the calibre of players United now have in attacking positions certainly have the ability to once they click.

Third place would be a great platform to build on in the coming years. It is now essential to invest in the transfer market in the modern game and I’m sure that if United are on the way to achieving Champions League football, the appropriate funds will be there to bring more talent and flair to Old Trafford in the coming years and there is no doubt that United will challenge for both domestic and European trophies once again.

About Alex 8 Articles
Alex is a lifelong United fan who has enjoyed regularly attending games since a very young age. He has recently graduated from Aberystwyth University with a BA Hons History degree and is looking to enhance his portfolio in sports writing with Red Mancunian. A passionate United fan with a realistic and honest view to all MUFC business.

4 Comments

    • Interest phrase ‘bullshit and fairytales’.

      I doubt whether Premier League football could survive without a hefty supply of both. In a way, they are one and the same; one man’s bullshit is another man’s fairytale. It’s bullshit to expect Swansea to go to Old Trafford and win, for Stoke to win at City, for Tom Cleverley’s Villa to win at Anfield. Can’t be done, it’s bullshit and fairytales.

      It’s the same ‘bullshit and fairytales’ that will ensure that 75,000 will turn up today to watch a team, which has won only seven of its last fourteen home games, beat QPR, hopefully quite easily.

      Expectations tend to mirror the optimistic spirit of the fans. Otherwise why on earth would they keep on turning up? Has masochism become a pre-requisite for being a football fan? Not really (unless of course you are a Geordie).

      Expectations demand that the next game is the beginning of a new dawn, more than just a fairytale and certainly not bullshit. Old Trafford is still the Theatre Of Dreams and long may it remain so.

  1. Van Gals philosophy and time for it to gel.The manager has got to be very flexible with his so called system, if the players dont gel can he afford to wait for it to get better.Real Madrid,s style would be good for United.The aim must be getting the ball up the park with the minimum of passes,not all the side passing pussying about.Yes as a fan I wanna start seeing somthing at least as good as the top four with that amount of Money they have spent.

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