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Manchester United

The Disunited Way?

The Sir Matt Busby way.

Play like Fergie’s boys.

Is there an Aloysius Paulus Maria way?

Louis arrived with a cloak of invincibility and his reputation snug in the cocoon that the English media had woven for it, the English media needed a throne to bow to and the implosion of Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea last season skewed their allegiances and the need and thirst for a father figure whom they could be submissive with led them to declare Van Gaal a saviour, the star had settled in Bethlehem. Eight months later there is a revolt within the closed ranks of Pro Louis media men and midlife ravaged ex pros, their savior is either a dud or a false prophet.

In truth the disappointment reverbrating around English football with regards to Louis and his team is part imagined and part justified. In relation to United’s playing style it is very understandable because at times United have played the most drab, one dimensional football in the top half of the league and allied to that is the summer splurge which the same media asked for at the height of Herr Moyes’ doomed tenure, it has been the stick used to beat Ed Woodward and Louis. What was expected was goals aplenty and a league trembling at the very thought of facing a United team bursting at the seams with attacking menace and a fluidity of play and one touch slick and sublime football, while United haven’t been appalling by any stretch of the imagination they haven’t captured it either. There have been games that were real ‘Death or the gladioli’ stuff but not in the opponents third but in United’s defensive third – a cocktail of De Gea’s defiance, inept finishing by opposing strikers and pure good luck have saved United more points than any ordinary team deserve. But this United is no ordinary United, while at times they appear like strangers who only meet on match days and sing ballads to Van Gaal while he does his homework pre-match they are a tough bunch to beat and maybe that mentality change is what Van Gaal is presiding over, at times they appear bereft of any attacking ideas but they certainly don’t look like losing either.

Social media of course plays its part in all the histrionics and doomsday Sulphur alarm raising, everyone on social media is Chicken little reincarnated, the sky is falling in. Statistics are to football what referees are to the premier league- attention grabbing but ultimately misleading tools. A breakdown of United’s two losses in twenty games makes for grim reading, opportunities lost in as many drawn games as lost games. Brace yourselves United fans, top four is a trophy- welcome to Arsenal territory. The alarming speed with which Tottenham, Liverpool, Southampton et al are hurtling towards fourth place is indeed alarming, seems like United picked a bad time to be off color, in reality United are sticking to a script – go away get a fortuitous draw via a late Fellaini long ball show or a Daley Blind scorcher then go home at Old Trafford, play a Diamond, not play particularly enthralling football but still stick three past a relegation threatened outfit, repeat.

I wouldn’t go as far as to term Louis a misanthrope but he seems to look down on the English league and its occupants and either misjudge and under estimate teams or his coaching staff is full of yes men who do not challenge his eccentric, tyrant-on-methamphetamine ideas with relation to tactics, starting XI’s and substitutions. The man himself is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma, one cannot tell if finally his psychopathic tendencies are finally manifesting themselves or if he’s just being stubborn.

He is certainly a philosophical man who believes in total football and has a set style of play which we are not seeing. In Plato’s theory of forms encompassed in his metaphysics teachings he advocates for a dualistic concept of reality i.e a difference between the world we perceive and the real world and that we think is true is merely an illusion and that there is an ideal world of forms which are unchanging and eternal – we can only hope as laymen that Van Gaal’s essence is a class above ours and he sees what we run-of-the-mill fans cannot even begin to fathom…an Aloysius Paulus Maria way.

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