• Premier League

Van Gaal: I've turned from United king to devil

ESPN staff
August 22, 2014
Louis van Gaal says turning Manchester United's fortunes around will take time © Getty Images

Louis van Gaal said defeat to Swansea had transformed him from the "king" to the "devil" of Manchester and warned that if he is not given time to implement his philosophy he will have been "hired to be fired".

The Dutchman has told fans - and critical ex-players such as Paul Scholes - that transforming United's fortunes is not a quick fix and warned them that they may have to suffer more pain before the long-term gain he believes his ethos will bring.

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United only finished seventh in the Premier League last season under David Moyes, who was sacked after just 10 months in charge, and were beaten 2-1 by Swansea on Saturday. Van Gaal said he has told the club's owners and powerbrokers that it is a long-term rebuilding job.

"Two weeks ago, I was the king of Manchester and now I am the devil of Manchester. It is the football world and it is especially the media in this football world so I think that the fans of Manchester are intelligent," Van Gaal said.

"I have already said that it shall be difficult the first three months for the players, especially, but also for the fans and I said that also to [executive vice-chairman] Ed Woodward and [owners] the Glazer family that it is always like that. They have hired me because of my philosophy, not because I am a very nice person - I am but it is my philosophy I have.

"I am not hired to be fired. I am hired to build up a team and that is a process and that process takes time. I bring another philosophy to the club and that is difficult because I have to give a lot of information. Now we are in a process of a lot of information.

"For example, I have to drive on the left side and I have to pay a lot of attention to drive properly. It costs me a lot of energy. This player [new signing Marcos Rojo] also, he comes from abroad and doesn't speak any words of English. What does that mean? He has to adapt to a new culture, new philosophy. It takes time. It is not so easy. It takes time, also for Marcos and the other players.

"You have to believe in it. Maybe my curriculum [vitae] can convince them. Otherwise, OK , I am hired to be fired. You have to believe in the philosophy and we make again a big club. But it takes time. It is not an overnight job."

Former United midfielder and coach Scholes said he was "scared" by the decline at Old Trafford.

Van Gaal responded: "I can imagine that fans are also scared. They have seen already the last year and now also the first home match and I can imagine that.

"They have to believe in the philosophy that we bring in this club and the players are believing that. They have shown it in the United States but they have to show it here. Also Paul Scholes has to believe in the philosophy."

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