Calm Surrounding Man United's Summer Preparations Is a Boost for Louis van Gaal

Rob Dawson@@RobDawsonMENManchester United CorrespondentJuly 8, 2014

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JULY 08:  Head coach, Louis van Gaal speaks to the media during the Netherlands Press Conference at the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil held at the Arena de Sao Paulo on July 8, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

There were times last summer when Manchester United looked like they were existing in a permanent state of chaos.

There was a new manager at Old Trafford. And a new chief executive. Their transfer negotiations looked, at times, like someone somewhere was pulling names out of a hat.

Wayne Rooney hobbled out of the pre-season tour after barely 24 hours. No one seemed to know with any certainty that he wasn't going to suddenly reappear on Chelsea's.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 26:  David Moyes the manager of Manchester United talks with Wayne Rooney during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Stoke City at Old Trafford on October 26, 2013 in Manchester, England.  (Photo b
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

The uncertainty, the disruption, seemed to spill over into the season. United never recovered, and it wasn't until November that they won back-to-back games in the Premier League. 

It wasn't long before David Moyes was packing up his office.

Jon Super/Associated Press

Moyes had a bit of head start on his successor, Louis van Gaal. The Dutchman won't take charge at Old Trafford until after the weekend. 

Moyes officially took over on July 1 last year. But Van Gaal will barely be in the job a few days before he jets off on the pre-season tour to the United States on July 18.

But despite the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager's late arrival, there's still an overriding sense of calm surrounding United's summer.

A club statement released on Tuesday confirmed Van Gaal will return to work almost immediately after his World Cup commitments are over. 

The players who went to Brazil but didn't make it past the group stages will also take part in the whole tour.

New manager Louis van Gaal will be involved for the full tour with his first match in charge of United taking place against LA Galaxy in the Chevrolet Cup at the Rose Bowl.

Many of United’s World Cup players will also be in attendance for the tour's duration, including Wayne Rooney, David De Gea, Shinji Kagawa and Juan Mata.

As well as the return of familiar faces, new signings Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw will also be part of the travelling group to make their Manchester United debuts. 

The final squad will not be confirmed until the Reds fly to the States. A number of the club’s youngsters may also join the group.

There is, of course, still work to do. United need at least one new centre-back and probably another midfielder. There might still be room for another attacking player.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 06:  Head coach Louis van Gaal speaks to his team during the Netherlands training session at the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil held at the Estadio Jose Bastos Padilha Gavea on July 6, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  The Netherl
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

But with Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera already signed, the pressure has eased. The two new arrivals have been signed early enough that they'll get the benefit of an entire pre-season to get used to their new surroundings. 

It's something Marouane Fellaini was never afforded.

Points and trophies aren't won during the summer months. But they can certainly be lost. Just ask Moyes.

Even in Van Gaal's absence, United, and executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, have done enough to give the club a chance at success next season.

This time last year, they were already floundering. And they didn't even know it yet.


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