Dutch legend reacts to van Gaal's loss in debut game as United boss

Old Trafford 3

News of Louis van Gaal's first competitive game in charge of Manchester United infiltrated Europe, particularly in the Netherlands.

Despite a 1-2 loss to Swansea City at Old Trafford on Saturday off-setting a superb pre-season that saw Manchester United go unbeaten, the clubs supporters should fear not for a repeat of last year's disastrous run as Dutch maestro Louis van Gaal is not comparable to his predecessor David Moyes.

That is the view of Holland legend Willem van Hanegem, a veteran football expert who helped steer Oranje to the World Cup final in 1974 during a playing career that was renowned due to his tactical acumen, passing range and his ability with the ball at his feet.

Van Hanegem was one of the archetypal all-action midfielders of his day, revered for his trivela-style shooting nous, goal-scoring from midfield and his defensive responsibility - ironically, a player who could serve Manchester United well should he be in his peak years as an athlete and a footballer now.

At 70-years-old, van Hanegem sticks to commenting and, in his column for AD, said: "Louis van Gaal's teams always end up playing good football and they they this at United so, internally, comparisons to the bad start of David Moyes will not be made -  Louis is completely different."

In Moyes's first competitive game in charge, United defeated Swansea by a 4-1 score due to Robin van Persie and Danny Welbeck both returning braces, however, the club failed to achieve consistency in results and only won five of the next ten, before drawing two and losing two.

While van Gaal was expected to be able to a: engineer a greater performance and b: return maximum points last weekend, there is still time to rectify the form as the club travel to Sunderland, to MK Dons in the second round of the League Cup, to Burnley, before hosting QPR and then taking on Leicester City, away.

"I understand that loss though," van Hanegem continued, implying that van Gaal will need to work hard in the transfer market. "That team is not good; not top level at least. There is lots of time - and he needs time.

"Let him have his way as the headlines in the tabloids are not important."

Louis van Gaal could have significant announcements to make inside a fortnight, as Manchester United are heavily linked with making reinforcements like Kevin Strootman, Angel di Maria, Mehdi Benatia, Arturo Vidal, Daley Blind, Marcos Rojo and Marco Reus.

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