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Four Ways Manchester United Will Be Different Under Louis van Gaal in 2014/15

30/05/2014 17:09 BST | Updated 30/07/2014 10:59 BST

Louis van Gaal is regularly lauded as one of the great coaches of his generation and has won seven league titles with four different clubs across three countries. As such, Manchester United fans will understandably be hoping that his arrival at Old Trafford after the World Cup will signal a huge upturn in their club's fortunes after a dismal 10 months with David Moyes at the helm.

With plenty of his own ideas, van Gaal is expected to make lots of changes and most importantly he is strong minded and experienced enough to be able to do it.

Here's a look at four ways in which Manchester United will be different in 2014/15.

4. Improved Player Discipline

Sir Alex Ferguson ruled United with an iron fist for nearly 27 years, but in the last 12 months player discipline at Old Trafford seems to have relaxed somewhat.

Last season, there were several signs of players taking advantage of David Moyes. There were examples of individuals partying into the early hours of the morning, including various pictures of Chris Smalling, Tom Cleverley and Danny Welbeck drunk in Manchester city centre.

However, van Gaal is notorious for being an extremely strict disciplinarian and players know, or will learn very quickly, not to push him or break his rules. One anecdote from his time in Munich tells of how he insisted that players must all eat together every day and when doing so must also sit up straight.

Apparently, one day Luca Toni was slouching so the Dutchman physically grabbed his player by the collar and pulled him up in his seat before walking back to his lunch without saying anything.

In 2014/15, United players will step out of line at their own risk.

3. Greater Emphasis on Youth

Last season, Moyes vaguely flirted with the idea of giving young players a chance, but when things started to go badly he relied more and more on established stars.

Conversely, van Gaal famously has no fear of putting his faith in youth, following the idea that if a player is good enough then he is ready, regardless of how old he might be. As manager of Ajax in the early 1990's, he oversaw the rise of a golden generation of players like Marc Overmars, Edgar Davids, Clarence Seedorf and the de Boer twins. In the Champions League final in 1995, he brought on an 18-year-old Patrick Kluivert as a substitute to change the game, with the teenager scoring the winning goal against the mighty AC Milan.

Afterwards, in two separate spells at Barcelona, he gave first team debuts to Carles Puyol, Xavi and Andrés Iniesta. Several years later he then aided the development of young Bayern Munich players Toni Kroos, David Alaba, Thomas Müller and Holger Badstuber, whilst also helping Bastian Schweinsteiger finally realise his enormous potential.

In players like Adnan Januzaj, James Wilson, Nick Powell and even slightly older individuals like Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Rafael and David de Gea, United have an extremely talented generation of raw, hungry youngsters that van Gaal has the potential to mould into the foundations of a new Old Trafford dynasty.

2. Clearer Tactical Identity

Under Moyes in 2013/14, United lacked a real identity for the majority of the ill-fated campaign. The Scot never seemed to know how he was going to play week to week and the team often looked like a collection of strangers on the pitch.

However, van Gaal, as he has had his entire career, has a strict footballing "philosophy" that he religiously adheres to. In 2010 he was quoted as saying, "I have my own ways, I'm not going to change and I have no desire to". He knows how he wants his team to play and he will make sure the players know it too.

"The coach is the team's focal point, so preparing the tactical formation is essential. Every player must know where he has to be and support his team-mates. There has to be absolute discipline and mutual understanding. Discipline is the basis of creativity and flexibility."

In his 2011 autobiography, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who encountered van Gaal when he was briefly Ajax's Technical Director, recounted how they actually came to blows over the insistence that every player in the team has a specific role that they must fulfil.

1. Return to a Winning Mentality

United fans were left fuming on numerous occasions last season when David Moyes seemed to buckle and accept defeat against the club's great rivals because he thought the team had still 'played quite well'.

Moyes was criticised for not understanding what a club like Manchester United is about and against big rivals his team selection often looked like a poor attempt at trying not to lose. But van Gaal has a history of the big club experience and winning mentality that is so crucial.

The Dutchman has yet to formally start his job at United, but already has his eyes set firmly on lifting the Premier League trophy in his first season. Citing debut season championships in Spain and Germany, he defiantly said, "in England it must also be possible", while adding that given United's standing in the game, winning the title should be the bare minimum.

With van Gaal, the performance and playing attractive football is always important, but first and foremost is winning. In 2007, with his AZ side trailing 4-2 against Newcastle in the UEFA Cup, the Dutchman ordered that Winston Churchill's famous "We shall fight them on the beaches" speech be played over the PA system before kickoff. Anything to try and give his team some kind of edge.

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