Pitchside

Five things van Gaal should have done on his first day

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From Brazil to Britain - Louis van Gaal has wrapped up his strong final project as Netherlands national coach after guiding them to third place, and is now officially in charge of Manchester United.

The combination of United's rough last campaign and LVG's reputation for being an unpredictable and quirky yet tough and uncompromising manager mean it's going to be very interesting how he handles the job over the coming months.

However, on today, his first day at his new job, there are a few things we would like to think he has wasted no time in getting done.

The best five are below, along with why. Let us know if you agree or disagree with them in the comments section at the bottom, and while you're there, why not add a sixth, seventh or eighth?

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1) Eurosport hopes LVG let his resume do the talking

Louis van Gaal has a reputation for singing his own praises. We can appreciate that. If you’re that good and can back up your claims, why not crow about it? However, even he will be aware of how sensitive the situation will be at Old Trafford. A club even more accustomed to consistent success than he himself is who have endured their most torrid season in recent memory – it is surely of utmost importance that LVG takes few gambles as their new gaffer in these times. His reputation will ensure the players do as they're told. No stunts or boasts that risk rocking a very leaky boat are really all that necessary.

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2) Eurosport hopes LVG made an exception for Tom Cleverley

Point number one on a general level is somewhat similar to this next one, focused on one particular United man. Tom Cleverley’s stock has been plummeting for a while and he is one player at MUFC who would greatly benefit from having the new manager put an arm around him rather than stamp his authority squarely on the forehead of a midfielder regarded as a weak link by some. Van Gaal should either do all he can to nurture Cleverley back onto the right track, or just give him a painless transfer somewhere else before the season begins. Clev is a fan of Spain, so he says…

3) Eurosport hopes LVG delegated training itself to his staff

Every boss wants as early a feel of the training ground at the new club as possible. But perhaps van Gaal can easily pick up everything he needs to know on day one via his coaching staff. Shake hands, make the big first speech, tell the team his door’s always open, blah blah blah… and then spend 9/10ths of the day deeply entrenched in his office ‘war room’, pushing reported transfers such as Arturo Vidal over the line as quickly as possible. United will need them in post-haste.

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4) Eurosport hopes LVG pulled Wayne Rooney aside for a one-to-one chat

Wayne Rooney always comes up in Manchester United discussions. It’s unavoidable. Nobody can accuse anyone else of talking about him too much, because EVERYBODY is talking about him and focusing on him. LVG will be aware of this, and thus how he handles that particular £350k-a-week situation will be an immediate port of call. There’s no doubt a manager of van Gaal’s calibre can tackle everything from Rooney’s fitness struggles to questions over his commitment to his suitability to be captain. We like to think, at time of writing this, the Dutchman has already swooped in for a private talk with Wayne to clearly set out his expectations of the England forward.

5) Eurosport hopes LVG kept his bits inside his boxers

Remember that barmy story courtesy of then-Bayern Munich striker Luca Toni about then-Bayern manager van Gaal? Here it is to jog your memory: “Van Gaal wanted to make clear to us that he can drop any player from team. It was all the same to him because, as he said, he had the balls. He demonstrated this literally by dropping his pants. I have never experienced anything like it, it was totally crazy.” – Erm, yeah. There’s REALLY no need for any such stunts at United, Louis.

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