That is what Manchester United fans are looking forward to this season – and if their pre-season results and displays are anything to go by, they could be back to their best.
With that in mind, we have taken a look at five things Manchester United fans can expect from the up and coming season.
A change in systems and potentially a back three
Under both Sir Alex Ferguson and David Moyes, United played with a standard back four.
However after the departures of central defenders Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand – not to mention long serving full back Patrice Evra, it seems that Louis van Gaal has decided to go with his tried and tested back three.
This system was deployed during United’s successful pre-season tour of the USA, where Evans was flanked by Phil Jones and Chris Smalling. Expect a 3-5-2 formation come the season opener.
Last season’s captain Vidic and vice-captain Patrice Evra have both been sold to other clubs so there is competition for who will now be the right man for the top job.
The two front runners are Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney, both forwards who have good leadership qualities and respect from the squad.
RVP was appointed Holland’s captain by Van Gaal but Rooney has been a Red Devil for a decade and so appears the natural successor. Expect both to play leadership roles this season. After all, it takes far more than an armband to be a captain.
A Premier League focused United
United played 55 matches last season in an extremely busy schedule that included everything from the Community Shield to the quarter- finals of the Champions League.
After finishing seventh, United will not figure in Europe at all (which could well be a blessing in disguise) and will therefore have a Liverpool sized amount of rest days between games and extra time to focus on the Premier League – unlike their rivals.
Like it did for the Reds, this should work in United’s favour and give Van Gaal time to perfect his system without fixture congestion. Expect a more energetic United.
A more confident and together club
Under Sir Alex, the Red Devils were famous for their confidence – even one goal down in the last minute, you still got the sense United would pull something back. No one was unbeatable – bar them.
Under Moyes however, United looked fragile and defeated which led to many, many poor results and rumours of insubordination.
With Van Gaal in control there will be no room for doubt as the manager is known for his unending self-belief and ability to make his players fall in line. Expect a more together team that resembles the Fergie era not the Moyes one.
After a difficult season and the arrival of a new demanding manager, many thought United were set for a busy transfer window.
So far the Red Devils have only acquired Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw and despite daily links with high profile stars the manager has surprising stated that his side perhaps ‘don’t need other players’.
Van Gaal appears content to give his current crop the chance to succeed under his new guidance. Expect to see similar line ups but hopefully better results.
Manchester United supporters. What changes are you expecting to see? Let us know your thoughts below or tweet us @LaFootyettes