He may not be strolling through the doors of Carrington with a World Cup to his name, but Louis van Gaal's first day as Manchester United manager has certainly leant something extra by the performance of his Netherlands team in Brazil.
Of course it helps that Van Gaal isn't taking over from Sir Alex Ferguson, with the looming shadow and the expectation that comes with it, but in many ways the Dutchman is already everything that David Moyes is not.
If nothing else, Van Gaal has been more a decisive manager than Moyes, even before he has officially started work.
Moyes was confirmed as Ferguson's successor on May 9 last year, and he officially started his job on July 1. However, he didn't make his first major signing until transfer-deadline day in August, and that was Marouane Fellaini who, it is probably fair to say, wasn't the greatest success in his first season at Old Trafford.
Of course, that may not have been his intention, and he obviously attempted to bring in players sooner, but through caution and indecision, he allowed a team bequeathed to him by Ferguson, with major inadequacies, to lie unfixed for too long.
One could argue that the squad left to Van Gaal is even weaker, for while it does contain Juan Mata, three-quarters of the great defence that basically won United a couple of Premier League titles has gone, Nemanja Vidic departing to Internazionale, Rio Ferdinand released and Patrice Evra on his way to Juventus.
However, where Moyes dithered, Van Gaal has been decisive, making two signings before he even took over, in the recruitment of midfielder Ander Herrera from Athletic Bilbao and Luke Shaw from Southampton.
Additionally, Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal could be arriving in the coming days, meaning that Van Gaal could have plugged some of the most significant gaps in the United side before the start of their pre-season friendlies.
Also, Jamie Jackson in The Guardian reports that Van Gaal will make quick decisions on some of the fringe players in the United squad, such as Chris Smalling, Shinji Kagawa, Tom Cleverley and Ashley Young. One doubts that Van Gaal will stand for the levels of mediocrity that were seemingly tolerated from some of those players last term.
Of course, those signings would not be all Van Gaal's work, with chief executive Ed Woodward clearly keen not to repeat the mistakes of last year that led to aborted moves for Cesc Fabregas and Herrera, but this all contributes to the general air of business around Old Trafford this summer, as opposed to last.
Van Gaal will not have much rest, after the Dutch World Cup campaign only came to a close on Saturday, but that doesn't seem to be perturbing him greatly.
He said, as quoted by The Guardian:
That is no problem for me, I don’t need a holiday. It’s great to have such an exciting challenge. To work daily with young people is something that I don’t need time off to rest for.
I hope the group in Manchester will become like this [Holland] one. We have to sing from the same hymn sheet. I hope at Manchester United I can do my best. I will do my best. Whether that’s enough for the fans I will wait and see, but I genuinely hope that will be the case. I’m looking forward to it.
After a season when they failed to qualify for the Champions League, and shortly after signing a mammoth, £750 million kit deal with Adidas—who didn't pay all that money to be associated with a bad team—the pressure is on for United to succeed this term.
Fortunately for them, in a manager who has already demonstrated he is far more decisive than his predecessor, it looks like they have the very ideal man for the job.
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