Would A Prolonged Dutch World Cup Campaign Unsettle Man Utd?


The Netherlands dismantled and humiliated current World and European champions Spain in their opening World Cup fixture on Friday the 13th. The 5-1 victory took the world by surprise, especially the Dutch press who were expecting a bit of a low key summer.

Tactically veteran coach Louis van Gaal got it spot on and gave us all a masterclass in how to defeat ‘tiki-taka’ football, an ideal he helped impose on football.

Holland went about their business well, with young players standing up and being counted and star men Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie ripping the Spanish defence apart.

But while the ‘Oranje’ supporters start dreaming of success, will Manchester United be wary that a long stay in Brazil for the Netherlands could be a big setback for their 2014/15 season plans.

Their season kicks-off on the 16th of August, with Man Utd hosting Swansea.

Obviously the club will be happy that their incoming boss is winning a lot of plaudits at the moment and United, like the rest of us, will have been impressed with how Van Gaal inspired his sides victory over Spain, plus with the form of Van Persie. But they also know that business needs to be done and quickly.

Rivals Chelsea have already splashed out on Cesc Fabregas and are looking to sign up his compatriot Diego Costa before too long. Liverpool have also tested the market with offers on various targets. Not a day goes by with out Arsenal being linked with a new buy and Manchester City have snapped up Bacary Sagna on a free.

All this time Man United have been sitting there and waiting. Some might say patiently and doing all their business on the quiet, but after the dismal transfer window from last summer, the United fans are getting itchy feet.

We all know who Van Gaal doesn’t want with the Dutch coach deciding against moves for Toni Kroos, Edison Cavani and Fabregas. That’s fine but they also need to identify targets and go for those players. The World Cup is a huge distraction as players are now fully concentrated on what’s happening in Brazil. The fact that Van Gaal is also fully occupied can’t be ideal for the Old Trafford hierarchy. They can’t be having constant communication with Louis and he won’t want anything to happen without is say so. That would mean that the club are in a bit of standstill. Can that continue for a month, if the Netherlands get to the final on the 13th of July?

Will Louis van Gaal then expect a holiday or will he head straight for a flight from Rio to Manchester? Another big question that needs to be answered (I’d guess he’d head straight to Manchester).

United are in desperate need of squad repair. Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic have departed, while Ryan Giggs has now retired to become Van Gaal’s assistant boss. The new one-year deal for Patrice Evra now looks inspired as he offers the most experience and continuity.

The deadwood has also started to be cleared out at Old Trafford with Alexander Buttner set to depart for Dinamo Moscow and Javier Hernandez, Marouane Felliani, Tom Cleverley, Ashley Young, Wilfried Zaha, Anderson and Bebe could follow him out the door. The quicker some of these players can be shipped out the better for the ‘Red Devils’.

So far Manchester United have been linked with various talents including Mats Hummels, Thomas Vermaelen, Sami Khedira, Luke Shaw, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Nicolas Gaitan. Those were just from todays newspapers. But again those deals will probably be put on hold until after the World Cup and I doubt many would go smoothly.

Obviously as the Dutch boss, Van Gaal will be linked with players within his own pool of players. Daley Blind was superb against the Spanish and could be seen as a long term replacement for Evra’s position. Central defender Bruno Martins Indi impressed standing up to Diego Costa and keeping him quiet on the most part. Bruno’s bit of pace and in particular his strength could be seen as ideal commodities for the Premier League. But could United move now for the pair without being accused of tapping them up? Will they be available at the same price next month? Surely Van Gaal should have instructed Ed Woodward (Utd’s vice-chairman) to sign these boys before June.

As United start to clear the rubble that has been left by David Moyes reign, some at the club will probably be asking for a Dutch slip up sooner rather than later. Just so they can have the legendary Louis van Gaal on the throne to oversee the huge rebuilding project that clearly still needs to be done at the ‘Theatre of Dreams’!

At least the club don’t have the distraction of the Europa League but as I said they need to make a big statement in this summers transfer window and the world Cup is one massively entertaining distraction Man United didn’t need.

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