Louis van Gaal took his place in the home dugout at Old Trafford for the first time as Manchester United beat Valencia 2-1 last night in the last pre-season match before the Premier League kicks off.
What a difference a year makes. The cowering figure of David Moyes’ in the dugout is now but a distant memory and Van Gaal is ready to embark on his new era as United manager.
Pre-season could not have gone much better for the Dutchman bar a few injuries picked up by the squad. LA Galaxy, AS Roma, Inter Milan, Real Madrid and Liverpool were all disposed of comfortably in the United States, which only served to build anticipation ahead of the new season.
Two of the most pleasing performances came against the European champions Real Madrid and then against Liverpool in the final of the International Champions Cup which United won 3-1 after going a goal behind.
Having played six, won six, scored 18 and conceded just five, hopes of a successful season for United are more than justified and a similar start to the Premier League season would do wonders for the players’ confidence as well as continue the feel-good factor sparked by Van Gaal’s arrival.