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United set to begin another new era under Van Gaal

Published on NewsOK Modified: August 11, 2014 at 5:05 am •  Published: August 11, 2014
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MANCHESTER, England (AP) — From the gloom and constant disappointments of David Moyes' tenure to hope and anticipation under new manager Louis van Gaal, the mood at Manchester United has shifted dramatically heading into the new Premier League season.

Order appears to have been restored at Old Trafford after United's most tumultuous year in a generation, when Moyes turned the club from English champions into something of a laughing stock in the space of 10 months.

And it's all down to the appointment of Van Gaal, the kind of charismatic, authoritarian coach United should really have gone for in the summer of 2013 to usher in the post-Alex Ferguson era.

It's barely been a month since he took over after his World Cup duties with the Netherlands and it's always hasty to make judgments based on preseason results, but things are already looking up for England's biggest team.

United is yet to lose under Van Gaal, beating Liverpool and Real Madrid on the way to winning a preseason tournament in the United States, and looks to have warmed to the tactics and change of formation (to a 3-5-2) of the Dutchman.

Players like Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata look energized.

"He's a tough manager but he's been great since he came in," Rooney said. "He's given us all a different way of looking at football, which we haven't had before."

It's a huge contrast to life under Moyes, who never garnered the respect of the squad due to his lack of top-level experience as a manager.

Van Gaal has coached — and won league titles — in Spain, Germany and the Netherlands and has the gravitas to take on the rebuilding job at United that proved too much for his predecessor.

Already, aging defensive trio Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra have been moved on and Van Gaal has signaled that some fringe players will be jettisoned. That could include the likes of Nani, Anderson and Javier Hernendez, as well as Marouane Fellaini, who has flopped since joining from Everton for 27.5 million pounds (then $43 million) last summer.

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