Louis van Gaal reveals how long it will take to get his United team playing perfectly

Louis Van Gaal

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal says that it will take around 10 weeks for him to get his United team playing as he wants them to.

Manchester United are now firmly under van Gaal's control, with the Dutchman called upon to rescue the Red Devils from the doldrums of the dismal David Moyes era. Having guided a little-fancied Netherlands side to the semi-finals of the World Cup, the 62-year-old is widely expected to work his magic at Old Trafford - and it's a case of so far, so good.

The club's pre-season couldn't have gone much better; wins against LA Galaxy, Roma, Inter Milan and Real Madrid have spirits high - a far cry from last summer's defeats to Singha, Yokohama F. Marinos and Sevilla. The signings of Southampton left back Luke Shaw and Athletic Bilbao midfielder Ander Herrera have also provided the club with a much needed boost, and with more signings expected, an improved season looks to be on the cards for United.

However, with less than two weeks to go until the start of the Premier League season, van Gaal says that it will take him around 10 weeks - around two-to-three months - to get his team playing as he wants them to. In fact, the club have even floated the idea of playing a number of money spinning friendlies whilst the Champions League and Europa League are ongoing - which, of course, United aren't involved in this season.

"I need a period of at least 10 weeks to get this team to play the way I want to," said van Gaal. "Only after that will matters be different and will we consider to play a couple of matches abroad."

The United players have so far taken well to van Gaal's 3-4-1-2 formation - particularly when you consider that most of the players have never played in that system. However, van Gaal will still have plenty more work planned for his players - physically, technically and tactically.

New signing Shaw has already been put on a personal fitness plan after van Gaal said he wasn't in good enough shape, whilst his roots at Ajax mean he's still somewhat engrained in Rinus Michel's Total Football ideology, meaning some players will need to improve their technical attributes.

Tactically, the shifting of players under van Gaal was prominent. Left sided centre back Bruno Martins Indi would shift over to left back to form a back four, allowing Daley Blind to move into midfield. The same thing could happen on the right hand side for United with Phil Jones or Chris Smalling allowing Antonio Valencia to go forward - but the understanding of when to shift will take some coaching yet.

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