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Does Van Gaal's first Man...
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Does Van Gaal's first Man United pre-season bode well for 2014/15?

Off The Ball
Off The Ball

08:46 13 Aug 2014

Louis Van Gaal's appointment as Manchester United manager was always going to cause a fair gust of optimism to sweep around Old Trafford.

So far every pre-season match under his tenure has ended in a win. But does that necessarily bode well for a new season with a squad still light on numbers and adapting to new ideas?

United We Stand fanzine editor Andy Mitten has characterised Van Gaal's first pre-season as not just good but "very good".

"You saw some players, who last season had a pretty awful time and were subjected to a lot of criticism - players like Ashley Young, Tom Cleverley, Antonio Valencia for whom things didn't go well last year. Things look much better for them," said Mitten, who is impressed by the "control" Van Gaal is beginning to build.

One of his bigger decisions, depending on how you view the role of the captaincy in modern football, is the appointment of Wayne Rooney to that position with stalwart Darren Fletcher as his deputy.

Listen to the full interview via the podcast player

Describing Fletcher as a football anorak and someone who educates himself about football, Mitten touched on Rooney's turnaround after issues surrounding his future in recent months.

"Now that he's got the captaincy, he'll thrive in that role," said Mitten. 

The No 7 and No 9 shirts also remain vacant which gives hopes that more signings will be made and a lot of the links to players in the papers is related to agents and a few unscrupulous journalists according to Mitten. 

He also revealed that the club's staff seem to like Van Gaal, in a way that they did not warm to his predecessor David Moyes, also explaining that many players appear rejuvenated.

He also revealed that summer signing Ander Herrera is settling in well and making progress with his English.

Fellow midfielder Marouane Fellaini was booed by his own fans during yesterday's friendly win over Valencia, even though he went on to score a winner and Mitten remains unsure whether the Belgian will remain at Old Trafford.

He also gave an insight into his interview with Van Gaal's assistant Ryan Giggs and how the Welshman is gelling with the Dutchman.

Subscribe to Off The Ball's YouTube channel for more videos, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for the latest sporting news and content.


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