Last year this time, Manchester United fans were fuming over the Red Devil’s poor start in 2013-2014 season. Slowly, chants against David Moyes, Ferguson’s hand-picked manager, echoed throughout Old Trafford. Six games into the new season only, and Manchester United have managed to gain seven points from maximum 18 points. While in charge, Englishman, David Moyes sealed around £65million in two transfer windows, breaking the club’s record transfer fee to bring Juan Mata to Old Trafford. Although he was eventually dismissed in April, but by the end of the season, Manchester United finished in seventh spot; A rare ranking that disqualified them from elite Champions League games.
Fast forward to this season, the well know Dutch manager, Van Gaal was brought on board with long list of wanted players and promises of rebuilding the team. Upon his arrival, Van Gaal was allowed to spend near-triple Moyes’ transfer sum and demolished that record transfer fee once again by signing Angel Di Maria for £59.7m. But six games into the new season, are Manchester United faring better than David Moyes’ era? We will find out in this article by comparing the points gained in each games and quality of opponents.
During David Moyes’ first six games, Manchester United played three Home games against:
Chelsea(0-0), Crystal Palace(won 2-0), West Brom(Lost 1-2): 4 points from maximum 9 points.
Red Devils also played three Away games against: Swansea(won 4-1), Liverpool(Lost 1-0), Man city(Lost 1-4): 3 points from 9 points.
In total, Manchester United recorded two wins, one draw and three losses. In terms of quality of opponents, two of their opponents in the first six games under Moyes were against top tier games, including Chelsea and Manchester City. As it is well recalled, in 2012, Manchester City finished as the Runner-up and Chelsea was 3rd in EPL ranking.
In comparison, during Luis Van Gaal’s tenure in the first six games, Manchester United have played these three Home games: Swansea(Lost 1-2), QPR(Won 4-0), West Ham(Won 2-1) : 6 points from maximum 9 points.
Also these are the results in the three Away games against: Sunderland(1-1), Burnley(0-0), Leicester city(Lost 3-5): No win yet. 2 points from 9 points.
In total, under Van Gaal, Manchester United have secured 8 points from maximum 18 points. Only a mere one point more than Moyes’ record, while the quality of opponents in the first six games this season has been arguably rather poor.
Also as the history of Manchester United shows, if the club was placed at fifth spot or lower in the first few games, they had never managed to bounce back to top four spot again by the end of the season.
To summarize the head to head comparison between Englishman David Moyes and Dutch manager, Van Gaal, here are the interesting findings:
- No away win recorded by Van Gaal yet, versus Moyes’ one away win during the same period.
- Manchester United have conceded nine goals in six games under Van Gaal, versus eight goals under Moyes.
- Van Gaal has spent £59.7M or 3x times Moyes in transfer market.
- No top tier team in the first six matches yet under Van Gaal, compare to Moyes’ games against Chelse and Manchester City.
- Van Gaal has secured one point more than Moyes’ time during the same period.
- Manchester United have recorded third worst start in EPL under Van Gaal, versus Moyes’ worst start in EPL history.
The question is this: Is spending three times more than the previous manager, while playing weaker opponents and only securing one point more than preceding manager, worth the big investment Manchester United made in Summer transfer market rebuilding whole new team with a new manager?