Despite his seasonal remit no doubt being to ensure Manchester United finish in the top four, Louis van Gaal has set his stall out to win the Premier League on his maiden voyage in English waters.
Legendary Red Devil and multiple top-tier champion Gary Neville, however, doubts his former club’s chances of regaining the crown they surrendered last May.
He told Sky Sports:
“Unless two or three players come in, I don’t think it’s realistic that he (Van Gaal) can win the league this year.”
The laying moguls at bwin.com rank Man Utd at 9/2 to hoist a 21st top-flight trophy at the end of 2014/15, with only Manchester City and Chelsea available at shorter prices.
So while they think there are likelier lads in the title tussle, the bookies are refusing to disregard the Red Devils’ league-conquering credentials.
A wise man would commend anyone who chose to tread such a cautious path, for United can take the top prize this term, with these reasons outlining the legitimacy of their candidacy:
Their unique formation is geared to extract the best from their unquestionably talented army of stars.
United won the title in 2012/13 and, after not losing any of their leading practitioners, fell to seventh the season after.
The reason behind this had to be the system that they adopted last term; it’s impossible to envisage the same group of players finishing as low down under Sir Alex Ferguson, for instance.
In Van Gaal they have a manager promising to play a way that will allow the likes of Juan Mata, Wayne Rooney and Ander Herrera, amongst others, to flourish.
The 3-5-2 they will deploy bears similarities to the diamond approach that enabled Liverpool to take almost the entire division by surprise in 2013/14; a set up that saw their entire allocation of key men utilised correctly.
It’s clear how beneficial this proved for the Reds and United can savour the same joys this time around.
A lack of European commitments will allow the club to prepare perfectly for every outing.
Again, as was the case with Liverpool, being pitched into action on a Saturday-to-Saturday basis will see them approach every game with maximum awareness of their opposition.
No midweek soirees to far-flung corners of the continent will also ensure they’re well-rested as rivals toil in fixture-list enforced slogs at the close of the campaign.
Van Gaal is a manager who has won the league with every club he has managed.
They range in size from Bayern Munchen to AZ Alkmaar, but whoever has entrusted him with manning the dugout has been rewarded with at least one league title.
Furthermore, the two-time Netherlands coach has endured just one trophy-less first campaign at the helm of any non-international outfit.