Louis Van Gaal Must Be Bold and Move Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra on

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistMay 10, 2014

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 04:  Rio Ferdinand of Manchester United hugs teammate Patrice Evra after victory in the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United at White Hart Lane on March 4, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

If the press are correct, and Louis van Gaal's admission that he would "love the job" at "the biggest club in the world" comes to fruition, per Saul Brookfield of the Independent, the rebuilding of Manchester United can truly start to begin.

One whole year after it was supposed to. 

And Van Gaal's first job will be to decide which of United's old guard he will retain for his new squad.

The Dutchman will have to run the rule over the legends of Ryan Giggs, Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra but will also decide the fate of long-time servants such as Michael Carrick and Nani.

MUNICH, GERMANY - MARCH 30: Louis Van Gaal manager of Bayern Muenchen speaks with Sir Alex Ferguson, manager of Manchester United during the UEFA Champions League quarter final first leg match between Bayern Muenchen and Manchester United at the Allianz A
Michael Regan/Getty Images

It is tricky conundrum for LvG to face so early on in his tenure and was a challenge that ultimately contributed to David Moyes' downfall.

The word "transition" is used on a daily basis when whispered with the name of United, but it is also a word that can be used as a smokescreen and an excuse for a lack of action. 

Anyone with football acumen knows that the Red Devils need changes to the playing staff, and it is the squad's elder statesmen who should be under the most threat. 

This year, United have shipped 42 goals in 37 Premier League matches, per Squawka. Looking deeper into the club's statistics, you find that the team only managed four clean sheets in the league before Christmas. 

United have managed another 10 clean sheets since that time, but this has come with seven more defeats.

Scott Heppell/Associated Press

Moyes was on a hiding to nothing with a defence which no longer had the legs or the intensity, and his failure was not sorting this out the minute he took control from Sir Alex Ferguson. 

If you stand still in football, you die. 

Yes, hindsight is a wonderful thing, and Ferdinand had an outstanding season in last year's championship success, but the signs of age and injury have been there for him, Evra and outgoing captain Nemanja Vidic for some time.

With Moyes retaining these senior players, it could have been deemed that this would be good for the dressing room and general morale. 

All of these professional footballers are big personalities at United—making them your allies would be seen as a good move by an incoming manager.

But Van Gaal must not make the mistake that Moyes did or we might see a repeat of 2013-14. It would be a footballing groundhog day.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 05:   Patrice Evra (L) and Rio Ferdinand of Manchester United acknowledge the fans after victory in the UEFA Champions League Semi Final Second Leg match between Arsenal and Manchester United at Emirates Stadium on May 5, 2009 in Lon
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

The playing merits of hanging on to both Ferdinand and Evra specifically are slim: 

Neither has the pace to deal with the best attackers in England. Their styles are much more suited to Champions League football with the slower and more controlled pace of games. But in the Premier League, they are burned to dust. 

Despite his clear love for United as a club, Evra must be the first to go. 

His defending has been nothing short of calamitous at times, and this dates back further than just during Moyes' short tenure.

He has been on the slide since the last World Cup in 2010 and could have been replaced due to a consistently poor defensive performance at any time between then and now.

Van Gaal must put his faith, and transfer kitty, towards the brightest young talents in the game. And he must immediately bring Luke Shaw to the club, whatever the cost. 

Kirsty Wigglesworth/Associated Press

Shaw has been on the radar of the football establishment since he broke into Southampton's under-18 team at only 15 years old. 

He has already outgrown his adopted south coast home and is ready for a bigger challenge, and as a lifelong Chelsea fan, United need to move for him now before Jose Mourinho eventually turns his attentions to him. 

Shaw is the type of player United need to build around: an attacking player with youthful exuberance and the potential to improve beyond recognition.

He does not need an Evra at the club to help with "transition." It should be Van Gaal who gives him the scaffolding he needs, not a formerly great player who is no longer at the required standard. 

Evra and Ferdinand will rightfully leave United as heroes for their services to the shirt and badge, but if we are to have a new era at the club, the right thing to do is clear the decks of the issues that haunted Moyes.

And start a new beginning as you mean to go on. 


    Croatia Send Kalinic Home from World Cup for Refusing to Play

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Croatia Send Kalinic Home from World Cup for Refusing to Play

    via Football-italia

    Griezmann Defends 'La Decision' Documentary

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Griezmann Defends 'La Decision' Documentary

    via MARCA in English

    Man Utd Legend Cantona Brilliantly Trolls Neymar

    Manchester United logo
    Manchester United

    Man Utd Legend Cantona Brilliantly Trolls Neymar

    via men

    Rashford Can Make United Fans Love England Again

    Manchester United logo
    Manchester United

    Rashford Can Make United Fans Love England Again

    via men