• Premier League

Prepare for three-month struggle, warns Van Gaal

ESPN staff
July 30, 2014
United beat Inter on penalties

Louis van Gaal has warned there is no quick fix for Manchester United and that, if history is anything to go by, they will "struggle" for the first three months.

Van Gaal, who led his new side to a third straight victory on the US tour when they beat Inter Milan on Tuesday, claimed before the match he had inherited a "broken squad" from predecessor David Moyes.

And the former Ajax, Bayern Munich and Barcelona manager says United's players will have difficulty adapting to his new 3-5-2 system - much like they did at his other clubs.

'I can't say it's a dream'

  • Louis van Gaal has revealed he was not short of offers from Premier League clubs after announcing he would leave his role with the Netherlands after the World Cup.
  • "I already had a lot of opportunities," he said. "But at the time the priority was not like it is now.
  • "I am already 62, so my career is reaching the end. That is why I was in Spain, Germany and Netherlands.
  • "There is only one football country I wanted to see inside and that was England, because of the level and the atmosphere and that was why I announced in October, so that all of the English clubs knew.
  • "I had more offers than just Manchester United.
  • "I don't say it's a dream because I am 62 and I know what I can do and I think Manchester United know what I can do and I think that is why they have come for me, and they were not the only club.
  • "Tottenham Hotspur also came. I am not a child anymore, I know what I can do, but it s fantastic because not any coach can work with the biggest clubs."

"Every club where I have been, I have struggled for the first three months," Van Gaal said.

"After that, they know what I want, how I am as a human being and also as a manager because I am very direct.

"I say things as they are, so you have to adapt to that way of coaching. It's not so easy and also the way I train and coach is in the brains and not the legs.

"A lot of players are playing intuitively and I want them to think and know why they do something. That's a process that is difficult at first.

"When we survive for the first three months, it will be the same as at Bayern. After three months there, we were seventh [in the Bundesliga] and third in the Champions League [group]. We had to win at Juventus, we did and that was the turning point."

Van Gaal said he is also relishing the prospect of taking on current champions Manchester City. The Dutchman has been part of some fierce rivalries before, having taken charge of Ajax against Feyenoord, Barcelona against Real Madrid and Bayern Munich against Borussia Dortmund.

Asked for his thoughts on having his side's most bitter rivals in the same city, he replied: "Whether they are 10 metres away or 30 kilometres away, it does not bother me."

"But it is amazing because they were not a big club and now already champions and they have also won the [FA] Cup in the last three years.

"They are knocking at the door but that is good for Manchester United also because where there is competition you can be proud when you are the champion at the end and maybe we will be the champions."

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