Why the Dutchman could struggle at Old Trafford.
Manchester United fans rejoiced in unison when Louis van Gaal was confirmed as their new leader earlier this summer.
The Dutch boss is everything that unpopular predecessor David Moyes was not.
Moyes, whose only trophy wins as a manager came with Preston North End, never really looked like he believed that he belonged at Old Trafford.
However, uber confident Van Gaal will no doubt have strode into the club’s Carrington training ground as if he owned the place this morning.
Van Gaal has earned the right to be arrogant. Since his management career began in 1991, the former midfielder’s list of honours includes four Eredivisie titles, one Bundesliga, two La Liga crowns and one Champions League.
Van Gaal will be expected to add the Premier League to that list of gongs during the term of his three-year contract.
However, restoring United to the peak of English football is likely to be the toughest challenge that the ex Ajax, Barcelona, AZ Alkmaar, Bayern Munich and Netherlands chief has faced to date.
Twenty-time champions United have won more league titles than any other English club, but their squad is massively inferior to Manchester City and Chelsea’s right now.
City finished 22 points ahead of the Red Devils last season, while Chelsea were 18 points better off than the Old Trafford side.
Chelsea have made significant improvements since May, bringing in Cesc Fabregas, Diego Costa and Filipe Luis from Spain.
City have done good business as well, signing France right-back Bacary Sagna and Brazilian midfielder Fernando, with Eliaquim Mangala expected to follow shortly.
At first glance, United have improved too, but look beyond the smokescreen of the £60m that they shelled out to land Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera.
United’s first team, at this moment, is weaker that it was when last season ended.
Shaw and Herrera are excellent long-term investments, but, in terms of the here and now, their arrivals are less significant than the loss of Rio Ferdinand and, in particular, Nemanja Vidic.
Teenage Shaw does not even improve United’s first XI straight away. On last season’s form, Frenchman Patrice Evra, who looks set to follow Ferdinand and Vidic out of the Old Trafford exit door, is a much better left-back.
Shaw started 35 Premier League games last team, making 72 tackles, 37 interceptions, 123 clearances and 34 key passes, as well as blocking four shots.
Despite making two fewer appearances, Evra made seven more tackles, 13 more interceptions, 59 more clearances, four more key passes and one more block.
United will, of course, make more signings before the big kick-off in August, but they are a million miles from being on a par with Chelsea and City.
Meanwhile, Arsenal are in better shape than United too.
The Gunners are finally getting serious in the transfer market, spending £30m to bring in Alexis Sanchez, who, following Luis Suarez’s move to Barcelona, could stake a claim to be the best player in England.