Can a new manager turn around the fortunes of Manchester United and restore the sheen to the once-high-flying football club that has recently suffered its worst season in 20 years?
That is the question uppermost on the minds of the legions of fans of the English professional football team as it announced Monday that it has appointed Louis van Gaal as its helmsman.
The initial words from the Dutchman, who signed a three-year contract, were encouraging and helped lift the spirits of the club’s supporters.
Vowing to “make history”, Van Gaal said: “It was always a wish for me to work in the Premier League. To work as a manager for Manchester United, the biggest club in the world, makes me very proud.”
Van Gaal brings a wealth of knowledge to Old Trafford from his time from managing several of Europe’s top soccer clubs. He won the 1995 UEFA Champions League with Dutch club Ajax, and led Barcelona and Bayern Munich to domestic league titles, the Wall Street Journal noted. This, however, will be his first taste of working in England.
The 62-year-old is currently in charge of the Dutch national team and will lead it to the World Cup in Brazil next month, before joining United after the tournament. He replaces David Moyes, who was sacked as head coach in April.
But the club opted for a degree of continuity by naming Veteran player Ryan Giggs as Van Gaal’s assistant manager. Meanwhile, in a separate move, Giggs announced the end of his playing career.
“I have managed in games at Old Trafford before and know what an incredible arena Old Trafford is and how passionate and knowledgeable the fans are,” Van Gaal was quoted as saying in a statement. “This club has big ambitions; I too have big ambitions. Together I’m sure we will make history.”
The millions of Manchester United fans worldwide will surely be hoping that he will live up to that promise.
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