It’s been quite an international break, and for me Louis has done brilliantly. He’s welcomed back one of the world’s’s top goalkeepers, watched his captain become England’s highest scoring player and his latest teenage recruit make a reasonable debut for France. Yet wherever he turns there’s a critic waiting in the wings. It’s just incredible. Take Gary Neville in Friday’s Telegraph warning about warning signs. England’s assistant coach, former United captain, business partner and friend of the assistant manager jumped on the critic’s bandwagon. C’mon Gary get real. You of all people should know how difficult it is to rebuild a team on the run while qualifying for Europe, when you can’t buy the superstars you want. The level of expectation surrounding United never ceases to amaze. Sir Alex Ferguson did not hand over a team of world beaters. The last championship was won on the backs of a striker having a once in a lifetime season and teams who folded in face of United and their manager’s reputation. United did not play well that season. There were spectacular comebacks, and last minute heroics but they were not a fluid attacking powerhouse. Far from it.
Van Gaal was on top form in his pre-match press conference and he deserved to be. Here it is in full and the opening “well????” is spectacular.
All the headlines are captured by Scott at The Republik of Mancunia
So now for Liverpool. Without Coutinho, but with Benteke ready to give Blind a test. Maybe Liverpool spring a surprise and play Sturridge. Who cares. Liverpool lost 3-0 at home to West Ham in their last match. It wasn’t a fluke. They were awful. United might give their biggest, bitterest rivals a battering. Then what’s Gary going to say?