Louis van Gaal has been coming under criticism in recent weeks for his running of Manchester United, but club legend Ruud van Nistelrooy has told De Telegraaf that he is the perfect choice.
Although the Red Devils sit in fourth place in the Premier League table, they are hardly expressing themselves on the pitch, and the conservative, defensive play is even more sterile than that shown during David Moyes’s tenure. It would be acceptable to suggest that the club are in a transitional season, with no success expected, but having spent a huge sum on attacking talent in the transfer window, one would hope to see creative play.
That has not been forthcoming at Old Trafford, and it has only been the consistent claiming of points - they have only registered two defeats in the last 21 games - that has eased the pressure on the veteran Dutch coach. It is unlikely that he will lose his job, regardless of where they finish in the Premier League, but missing out on Champions League football could be a massive loss, as signing the top level players will become even harder.
What has disappointed most has been the lacklustre performances shown by the team every week. Arriving in Manchester as a coach who has worked with some of the most tactically advanced teams in recent history - Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern Munich are highlighted - van Gaal has settled on playing an almost satirical brand of English football - outdoing the native coaches. Marouane Fellaini has been utilised as the ‘big man’ in a long-ball system, and it is the form of Englishmen Wayne Rooney and Ashley Young that has proven vital this term.
It was always going to be a hard job for van Gaal, who was looking to bring the club away from the remnants of the Alex Ferguson era and into a new dynasty. It has taken longer than expected to work his magic, but former Red Devils striker Van Nistelrooy - who netted 150 times in his United career - believes that the coach will fix all the problems at Old Trafford.
Speaking to De Telegraaf in the Netherlands, van Nistelrooy said: “The people are fantastically positive about him. He is an outstanding figure. Van Gaal leads from his vision and United follows. That is what the club needed.
“Van Gaal is going to get the time [to improve]. The overall picture is that he helps the team and the club further improve. I strongly believe that he is going to build it up.”