The worst-kept secret in football was confirmed on Monday, as Manchester United named Louis van Gaal their new manager.
After weeks of speculation regarding the vacant Old Trafford hot seat, the news naturally sparked a surge of reaction on social media.
The appointment was announced on the club’s official Twitter account, confirming that van Gaal would be signing a three-year deal:
Sky Sports provided the tale of the tape, comparing the achievements of the 62-year-old van Gaal with those of former boss Sir Alex Ferguson:
It was also confirmed that Ryan Giggs would be taking up a position as assistant manager. Former Red Devils striker Michael Owen claims it was an excellent move to keep the Welshman on board:
If reports are true, Van Gaal's appointment will be a culture shock to the current squad. Good to see Giggs kept on. Board directive?— michael owen (@themichaelowen) May 19, 2014
Giggs was full of praise for the new boss, as documented here by Squawka:
Ryan Giggs: "I am thrilled to have the chance to serve as assistant manager. Louis van Gaal is a world-class coach." pic.twitter.com/dzubmflu7r— Squawka Football (@Squawka) May 19, 2014
It was also confirmed that Giggs will retire as a player in order to focus on his coaching duties, as confirmed here by Oliver Kay of The Times:
Rio Ferdinand, who recently confirmed he’d be leaving Old Trafford after 12 years, per Sky Sports, was quick to wish the new boss well in his new role:
With news of the appointment spreading like wildfire, some of the game's most respected scribes began to offer their opinion on the new United boss. ESPN’s Miguel Delaney thinks that, with Jurgen Klopp out of reach, van Gaal was the best man to succeed David Moyes:
Without getting a perfect choice like Klopp, think Van Gaal best possible choice. Has the personality/aura to feel like United again.— Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney) May 19, 2014
The Telegraph’s football correspondent, Henry Winter, thinks keeping Giggs involved is of vital importance to the Red Devils:
Good to see sanity prevail & Giggs appointed assistant to Van Gaal at #mufc. Good coach, counsel & dressing-room conduit— Henry Winter (@henrywinter) May 19, 2014
Winter’s colleague Mark Ogden agrees that Giggs will be a key figure and expects Robin van Persie to be named captain, as he has worked extensively with the Holland national team. Ogden is unsure about that particular move, though:
Good call by LVG to have Giggs as number two. May not to weight up the captaincy, though. RVP may not be the best candidate.— Mark Ogden (@MOgdenTelegraph) May 19, 2014
Not sure he has been there long enough to usurp those who have...— Mark Ogden (@MOgdenTelegraph) May 19, 2014
According to Richard Arrowsmith of the Daily Mail, the Dutchman will not be afforded a banner at the Stretford End, but bookmakers Paddy Power suggested a great way United fans could recycle the ill-fated “Chosen One” banner:
"Hey, wait, don't throw that banner out! Cost a fortune, that!" pic.twitter.com/raRJGu1Yjd— Paddy Power (@paddypower) May 19, 2014
In equally humorous fashion, the David de Gea parody account suggested what van Gaal's first goal as Manchester United boss should be:
Van Gaal's first job as Manchester United manager....kicking Ashley Young out the door pic.twitter.com/JHFYxMfoHR— David De Gea (@DDegea1) May 19, 2014
Meanwhile, The Sun provided us with some of the Dutchman's more memorable quotes from over the years:
WhoScored took a typically tactical approach in their reaction, providing some interesting insight into how Bayern Munich have fared both with and without van Gaal:
Louis van Gaal: Bayern conceded more Bundesliga goals (66) in Van Gaal’s 63 games in charge than they have in 107 games (63) since he left— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) May 19, 2014
Van Gaal is clearly a polarizing figure, but his arrogant nature and boisterous approach will surely see him become a big hit at Old Trafford. Under Moyes, the club recoiled into its shell, but with the Dutchman at the helm, one would suspect there is little danger of United turning into a shrinking violet during its 2014-15 campaign.
To echo some of the comments of the aforementioned tweets, keeping Giggs on was a savvy move by the United's leadership. He is a man that is United through and through and will provide an exceptional buffer between the players and manager.