Former Manchester United Louis Van Gaal’s comments about players that the club did not sign for him speak more to his own lack of judgment than to a badly-run club.
At The Peoples Person we are strongly anti-Glazers and as frustrated as the next fan at their inability to back Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in this crucial summer transfer market.
However, in listing ten players that the club didn’t sign for him, the Dutchman’s evidence has arguably and sadly strengthened the case for the defence.
‘I wanted Robert Lewandowski, but when this proved difficult I tried to get Gonzalo Higuain instead,’ Van Gaal told FourFourTwo via The Mirror.
‘I also spoke with the board about Neymar. If you are at United, you have to think big. He was also interesting for the club in terms of selling shirts, and I wanted to have quick wingers.
‘For that reason, I also tried to get Sadio Mane and Riyad Mahrez.
‘Thomas Muller was on my wish list, too, and in central midfield I wanted N’Golo Kante.
‘I even tried to sign James Milner, who was already quite old but very multifunctional and possessed leadership skills.
‘For the defence, I wanted Sergio Ramos and Mats Hummels, because ours wasn’t the strongest in building from the back.’
The fact is that Van Gaal’s list is almost laughable. Even if it was spread over the two summers the Dutchman was in charge at United, it suggests the ramblings of a crazed mind.
While some of the names – Mahrez, Kante and Mane for example – were good, realistic targets, sending Ed Woodward and Matt Judge out with a shopping list of Neymar, Sergio Ramos, Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller is like sending out Mr Magoo to shoot rabbits.
Woodward and Judge could also be patted on the back for accidentally failing to sign James Milner.
It should also be remembered that these names are in addition to the £150 million-worth of signings Van Gaal did secure in his first summer, including Ander Herrera, Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo and Radamel Falcao on loan, before breaking the English transfer record to sign Angel Di Maria from Real Madrid.
In his second summer he bought Anthony Martial, Morgan Schneiderlin, Memphis Depay, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Matteo Darmian and Sergio Romero.
Van Gaal’s ramblings do perhaps show that the United board made one dreadful blunder – actually appointing someone with such unrealistic expectations as manager of Manchester United.
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