Manchester United legend Lou Macari believes there should be caution ahead of all the optimism surrounding Louis van Gaal’s arrival at Manchester United.
Van Gaal officially begins work today as he meets up with the players ahead of travelling to the United States on Friday for the clubs’ pre-season tour, and with a number of high profile names linked with a move to United, supporters are excited about the changes at Old Trafford.
[su_quote cite=”Lou Macari”]…there’s a lot more to the job at Manchester United than people realise.[/su_quote]
“None of us know if he will be successful, it’s something we’ll only find out over time,” says Macari, who played for United for over a decade after moving from Celtic. “Although the David Moyes era didn’t go so well, there was a lot of fanfare and hullabaloo when he took over about him being almost identical to Sir Alex. But there’s a lot more to the job at Manchester United than people realise. You have to be ruthless and sometimes it just comes down to whether you’re the right man at the right time. David was the wrong man at the wrong time. We all want United to do well and to be challenging again but I would urge caution on people getting ahead of themselves.
Van Gaal has a history of revolutionising tactics at the clubs he has been at and is widely credited for the systems that have been so successful at Barcelona and Bayern Munich – and this could signal the end of the 4-4-2 system that has been a part of the club since Macari’s days under Docherty. However, the former United striker confesses that the modern obsession with giving player roles specific names is beyond him. “I’ll happily admit to not really understanding what people go on about with tactics these days! People talk about man in the hole, false this or that… it’s just gobbledy-gook,” said Macari. “Van Gaal did have a good World Cup but I couldn’t tell you from that whether or not he’s going to revolutionise United; to be honest, even though I enjoyed the World Cup, I didn’t see any truly outstanding teams. Germany were good, but they’re not the best German team I’ve ever seen… though, having said that, what I did see was the worst Brazil team ever. They’ve always strong, athletic, skilful, good passers and good movers, and this Brazil team were almost the opposite to all of that.”
[su_box title=”A Tactical Revolution” box_color=”#cda33c” title_color=”#29322a”]Van Gaal set up the successful 4-3-3 system for Barcelona and Bayern Munich, but played normally with a 3-5-2 formation in the World Cup[/su_box]
Although he wishes his old team all the success in the world under their new coach, one thing Macari doesn’t want to see is an opening day hat-trick from a United player, as he was the last person to score a treble on the first day of the season for the club, against Birmingham City in 1977 (a game in which fellow legend and TalkOfTheDevils.com contributor Gordon Hill scored a stunning volley). “I was doing the Swansea game last season for MUTV and when Robin van Persie scored his second I was screaming at Moyes to take him off!”, laughs Macari. “And then Welbeck went and scored two – and I was screaming for him to come off too!”.
United’s season kicks off against Swansea City again on Saturday 16th August, and it was announced that it was moved to a 12.45pm kick off for television.