Why Louis van Gaal's First Manchester United Press Conference Was a Hit

FullTimeDEVILS@@fulltimedevilsFeatured ColumnistJuly 18, 2014

We're barely 48 hours into the official reign of King Louis van Gaal, but from where we're sat he has already taken a huge step toward winning over the hearts and minds of United fans.  

It may be our job to watch the weekly manager's press conference, but quite honestly Thursday's 20-minute appearance from Old Trafford was a pleasure to witness.

Let's be frank, David Moyes was never going to be a hard act to follow; forget the results and the tactics, we're talking merely about his press conference performances here.  

Much has been made of the Scotsman's dour, fence-sitting press conferences last year, typified by his promises to "try," and undoubtedly some of the criticism (from us included) was unduly harsh.  

We can't see it written in the laws of football or indeed the history books that successful managers of big clubs have to have a winning personality and an ability to spar with tabloid heavyweights; we'd argue that Wenger is mid-grey at best, for example.  

But we are Manchester United.  

We don't "try" to win games.  We don't do our best to compete with stubborn mid-table opposition, and we don't deal in average or in slightly affable.

That's where Van Gaal has played a blinder; he stated (several times) his winning CV from the best leagues in Europe and smacked down journos with ill-worded or repeated questions. He will give players a chance to prove themselves, but Lord help them if they don't adopt his philosophy.  

Moyes believed that Manchester United was the biggest club in the world, there's no denying that, but the difference is that Van Gaal tells us he's the man to manage the best team in the world.  And we here believe him.

Sky Sports have beaten us to a clever Moyes vs Van Gaal press conference comparison which is well worth checking out since we now won't be making one:

Van Gaal vs. Moyes—Sky Sports comparison

Comparisons aside, what we also know since Thursday (apart from the disappointing news on Michael Carrick's injury) is that Van Gaal won't be rushed into any more summer signings until he has had a chance to work with the existing squad, and that he'll find a "role" (pretty sketchy) for the likes of Nicky Butt, Phil Neville and Paul Scholes.  More interesting was that reading between the lines, we here think that his answer to the Wayne Rooney question put the ball firmly in the No.10's court: It's Van Gaal's way...or the highway.  

Experience and past reputation seemingly means nothing; it's all about how you adapt to his system and philosophy, and those who don't adapt are left behind.  If there's one area to watch under the new manager it's this one, especially when we know that Robin van Persie and Van Gaal have a special bond already.

All in all, we couldn't have expected a stronger first public performance; be under no doubt, there is one man running this team now, and we are in safe hands. No, not safe, that's a Moyesesque word...let's say we are in trophy-winning hands.

You may doubt our opinion, and that's fine (we're all about opinion on our channel) but watch the start of the video again and look at Sir Bobby; he knows the right decision has been made this time.  

We're also happy that the presser didn't go like this (a great cartoon made by new YouTube channel 442oons for us: Louis van Gaal Press Conference Parody).

Having said all this, we do have one criticism of Van Gaal's appearance, and it's literally that, his appearance.  We might be getting all broadcast-geek on him, but boy, the cameras don't like that jacket. Technically it's called moire or strobing, but the fact remains that it was overlooked by the United press team.

Being honest though, would you have been the one to ask him to change?  Did you see the look he gave Karen Shotbolt (our chief press officer—to his left) when she pronounced his name wrong? (Note: We like the idea that he's already getting narky with the comms team.)

If you haven't watched it yet, we've got the whole press conference in two parts on our playlist: Van Gaal's first press conference: FullTimeDEVILS playlist where you'll also be able to see our presenter Sam Homewood's immediate reaction. 

And do please subscribe to our YouTube channel; we're racing ArsenalFanTV to the 100k subscriber mark and it's getting very close, so you can do your bit: Subscribe for free on YouTube


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