Louis van Gaal took on the worlds media today for the first time as Manchester United manager and declared he was taking over the biggest club in the world whilst saying the target was to win the league.
The Dutchman was announced as the Manchester United manager almost 2 months ago but due to his commitments with the Dutch national side at the World Cup, this was the first time he has faced the media in his new capacity. He was lead onto the stage by club legend, Sir Bobby Charlton, who he immediately took the time to thank.
it’s a great honour to come in this stadium and be guided by Sir Bobby Charlton. I was very proud to do that with Sir Bobby.
He was asked how big of an impact he could make in the first season.
I will do my utmost best in the 1st season. I cannot give predictions because you never know. It is the biggest club in the world and I have to prepare a team and for this big team. It is the biggest club, because it is known world wide. Every season you have to prove it.
When I was in China or Brazil as the Dutch coach, people are talking about Manchester United, so there is a lot of expectation. I have coached Barcelona, the number 1 in Spain. I have coached Ajax Amsterdam, the number 1 in the Netherlands, and Bayern Munich, the number 1 in Germany. Now I coach Manchester United, the number 1 in England.
The Owners and the CEO have a lot of confidence in me. I explained my philosophy and they were excited. That is why I am here. The fans are very important too.
Can I fulfil the expectation? I think I can do. But because of the greatness of the club, it is much more difficult.
Van Gaal was also asked about the captaincy and any potential new signings.
All of the players are candidates (for the captaincy). I have to get to know them. I have to give it 4-6 weeks. The captain is a very important role to me. My method is to look at the players. The first 3 to 4 weeks will be to see what they can do now, then maybe I will buy some players. We have signed Shaw and Herrera, who were already on the list, and I gave my approval because I like them. But first I want to see how the players I have can handle my philosophy.
Louis van Gaal Took the time to describe his personality;
I’m a democratic, empathetic human being with a strong personality, but the other characteristics are more important.
He was also asked, “what would be a success?”
I don’t know. I have to see how the players perform my philosophy and how quickly they pick it up. I haven’t worked with most of them so we have to wait and see if there is a click with the players and the manager. For me, the challenge is first, not fourth.
During his press conference, he also told the media how Nicky Butt was already assisting the club, whilst roles would hopefully be found for Paul Scholes and Phillip Neville, who were brought in to work with Ryan Giggs at the end of last season. He also revealed that Michael Carrick has picked up an injury in the last few days, and will be out for ‘a long time’.
Louis van Gaal put in a professional yet positive performance on his first outing, but fell short of making promises of instant success. He laid that challenge at the feet of the players, and their ability to buy into his ideas and style of play.
The squad fly out for the pre season tour of the USA tomorrow.
Is Louis van Gaal the man to lead United back to their former glories? Who should he pick as captain? And who would be a good addition to the squad? Feel free to leave your comments below.