Louis van Gaal has officially been with Manchester United as their new manager for about a week now.
His straight-shooting, no-nonsense approach has already shone through. Not in the best way.
[EXCLUSIVE: Luke Shaw on United move]
Ahead of United’s first game of their U.S. tour in L.A. on Wednesday against the LA Galaxy, Van Gaal, 62, has lambasted United’s decision to play preseason games in L.A., Denver, Washington and Michigan this summer. Oh dear. He was also seen shouting and screaming at players as they went through their paces at the Pasadena Rose Bowl in a training session open to the public.
United have embarked on their first U.S. tour in many years and with eight other Premier League sides currently out in the States, it seems like the thing to do.
Not as far as LVG is concerned. Speaking to reporters ahead of the Galaxy game, here’s what he had to say.
“You have to travel distances, you have to fly a lot, you also have jetlag – that is not very positive for a good preparation,” van Gaal said. The tour was already arranged so I have to adapt – and Manchester United shall do everything to adapt to my rules for good preparation.”
Van Gaal went on to state that he hopes the preseason tour next season will be much shorter, as this year he had no say in the organization after being appointed after the schedule had been made. However, the Red Devils have toured Australia and the Far East during recent years in order to grow their brand across the world.
If United make the final of the International Champions Cup in Miami this summer, they would have traveled over 12,000 miles for games this summer. Out of all the PL teams on tour in the U.S. that is the furthest travel distance by far.
So former Dutch national team manager Van Gaal, who has come straight from leading the Netherlands to a third-place World Cup finish, does have a point when it comes to the schedule. Speaking earlier this week United’s Chief Executive Ed Woodward stated that the Premier League is targeting America as the number one growing market in the world for soccer. United’s tour is aimed at getting more sponsorship and growing their brand in North America.
Will commercial reasons get in the way of Van Gaal’s preparations for the new season? Time will tell, but the Dutchman is not happy.