Excitement among Manchester United fans at the prospect of seeing Louis van Gaal in action at Old Trafford next season has been building but after what happened last night, it has reached fever pitch.
Robin van Persie was having a poor game against Mexico by his standards. Most managers would have left him on because he is their top player but not Van Gaal.
He wasn’t afraid to replace him and inject some fresh legs into the tie, fresh legs which eventually won the game right at the death. Holland were 1-0 down and out with only a few minutes remaining but they turned it around to win 2-1. It was Bayern Munich in 1999 all over again.
That confidence and lack of fear to replace even the best players when it is necessary is a characteristic only the top level managers have. Van Gaal isn’t afraid to make those huge decisions and at this World Cup, where his substitutes have impacted every game, they are decision which are proving extremely fruitful.
Moyes: "People would have asked what I was doing if I took RVP off v NUFC."
LVG takes him off in the WC and his replacement wins the game.
— Alex Shaw (@AlexShawESPN) June 29, 2014
Louis van Gaal brave in taking van Persie off. Proved to be the gamechanger. Huntelaar with a goal and an assist. Impressed.
— Jonas Giæver (@CheGiaevara) June 29, 2014
From a United perspective, it’s music to ours to hear that a manager has this kind of attitude. Last year, David Moyes left Wayne Rooney on for the full 90 minutes simply to avoid the fear of a backlash for taking him off. That mistake won’t be repeated by Van Gaal. A manager has to be brave enough to stand and fall by his own decision rather than avoid making them in the first place.
Last minute winners, inspired substitutions, goals galore and a natural togetherness inspired by Van Gaal? Holland are doing very well and United are going to reap the rewards of that mentality and approach next season.