The World Cup is officially over and done with and life can finally go back to how it was before all this welcomed chaos. Although the anticipation of seeing the new champs Germany begin their defense of the trophy on the road to Russia 2018 is certainty an enticing one.
Even though no Manchester United player was in the final on July 13, we fans were able to take a lot out of this World Cup.
For starters we had 13 players plus our new manager Lois van Gaal representing Manchester United.
Of all the thirteen players (Adnan Januzaj, Antonia Valencia, Chris Smalling, Danny Welbeck, David De Gea, Javier Hernandez, Juan Mata, Marouane Fellaini, Nani, Patrice Evra, Phil Jones, Robin van Persie, Shinji Kagawa and Wayne Rooney) it was by far Van Persie that had the most successful tournament. He was also the only player that made it all the way to the semi finals.
While Mata, Fellaini, Hernandez, Nani and Rooney were all able to get on the score sheet with one goal apiece, van Persie was the one to score the most with an impressive 4 goals. In general 9 goals were scored by 6 United players.
But there was one other Man United representative that had a remarkable tournament and it was none other than our new manager Louis van Gaal.
Van Gaal showed all the United fans that he is just as disciplined as Fergie and demands only the best from his team. From the Netherlands first game where they thrashed the Spaniards 5-1 to their third place victory against Brazil, the Dutch sure knew how to entertain which explains the 11 goals the team scored in total with Van Persie and Robben providing 7 of those.
One particular surprising moment was Belgium’s first game when substitute Marouane Fellaini became the first Belgian to score in the tournament with his header against Algeria. It was a promising display overall from the Belgian international and hopefully he will be able to emulate the same form when he starts his second season at United next month.
It was unfortunate that once again the British media were quick to attack Rooney. I understand that some may view Rooney as only showing up for his club and not country. But to blame one player for a country’s lacklustre display is wrong. I watched all three of England’s games and they did show potential but one has to remember that they were in a group of death with two former champions in Italy and Uruguay as well as the surprising breakout team of the tournament in Costa Rica.
Nani was another player that dealt with a lot of criticism and was also in the same predicament as Rooney. It really goes to show that no team is safe which was one of the reasons why England, Portugal, Italy and Spain all made early exits.
Although most players did not make it past the knockout phases, it was nice to see them come out and play in the international stage.
Now the countdown begins to the opening game in the EPL against Swansea City on August 16, 2014 which fingers crossed will be the beginning of a golden era at Old Trafford.