Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville has stated that a return to the Champions League would represent a successful first season for new manager Louis van Gaal, Sky
United saw their unbeaten run come to an end on Sunday having fell to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Southampton – they had not tasted defeat for the previous 11 games in all competitions since losing the Manchester derby on November.
While there appears to be an improvement on last season thanks to their fourth place standing in the table, an interesting stat has been banded around the media that shows Van Gaal has acquired the same amount of points as the beleaguered David Moyes had in his first 21 league games.
This is also despite spending £155m on new players over the course of the summer.
Their unbeaten run had seen Van Gaal’s side lucky to pick up certain points – none more so than their victory at the Saints where they scored with their only two shots on target – and the luck ran out on Sunday with the Red Devils failing to register a shot on target despite enjoying 60% of the possession.
And Neville has claimed while there is still work to do at the club, a mere return to the Champions League would represent a successful season for United.
He said: “At this point under Moyes they were in seventh, and this time they are fourth at the moment.
“So all United have to do this season to achieve success – and it seems like a crazy statement considering they won the league two years ago – is get Champions League football.
“It is a stepping-stone season. From where they were last season, which was a terrible season, this season to get in the Champions League would be a step in the right direction. Then they can build from that.”
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