Former United striker Scott McGarvey gives his opinion on how United have fared so far under Louis Van Gaal and who they should sign this summer.
Looking back on Louis Van Gaal’s first season at Old Trafford, Scott has been pleasantly surprised about how well the team have done: “There was always going to be a better feel to the club with a big name manager coming in. He came out and said at the beginning that he was here to see the job through and his CV tells you that he’s capable of doing that.
“I think his first year was always going to be a bit of a mix and he’s done better than what I thought. I didn’t think United would get in the top four but he’s done that and it all depends on what players he gets this year to take him forward again.”
United have been linked with many top quality players this summer but most notably Sergio Ramos, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin in recent weeks. Scott is of the opinion that each of these players would improve the team but asserts that signing Ramos should be a priority: “The players they’ve been linked with, you would take every one of them, Schweinsteiger is a different class but I think they need Ramos.
“An experienced centre-back is what they need, someone who is going to be determined to score a goal and win a header. They’ve not had that since Vidic and Ramos has a reputation of being a threat in the opposition box. I think he’d be a great signing and I hope that it does come off.”
Scott also thinks that United should break the bank to sign Gareth Bale and should have made more of an effort to sign Petr Cech ahead of Arsenal with the departure of David De Gea looking likely: “The one player I would go for all day long and break the bank for would be Gareth Bale. I’m sure they’re trying and you don’t always believe what you read in the paper but for me he would come in and be that 20-something goal a season player.
“I’m sure him and Rooney would be a lethal combination, it would be fantastic. I just don’t understand why United didn’t bust the bank to sign Cech because people forget how long it took De Gea to settle in at United.
“Before him Van der Sar was a top keeper, he was calm, he was collected and good on the floor but he’d already played in England with Fulham. He was used to dealing with plenty of crosses and free kicks and long throws coming into the box. You don’t get that in Europe and even Valdes who’s one of the best shot-stoppers, I just hope it works out for him because he was a great goalkeeper at Barcelona but he’s not done much in 18 months.
“If he’s going to be given the number one spot then brilliant, they know better than me. I just hope that he’s the right man for it because if he’s not then that could be a stumbling block. The Premiership takes a bit of time to get used to and get that knowledge of what’s going on, especially for a goalkeeper. It took De Gea about 18 months to adapt to it but now he looks like he’s going, hopefully he doesn’t but we’ll see what happens.”
Scott played in the United first team during the early 1980s and in line with Retro United’s recent Best XI theme names a team of the best players he played alongside at the club, here’s what he came up with: Gary Bailey, Micky Duxbury, Paul McGrath, Gordon McQueen, Arthur Albiston, Steve Coppell, Bryan Robson, Ray Wilkins, Norman Whiteside, Joe Jordan and Mark Hughes.