Louis Van Gaal: I am now the Devil of Manchester

Louis Van Gaal

We bring you the details from Louis Van Gaal's most recent press-conference, which he spoke at today.

Louis Van Gaal says that the way he has been treated by the media since coming to England has shown the fickle nature of football.

The experienced Dutch manager had been touted as the man to return Manchester United to greatness when he took over at the club, but already has had to face criticism after the side lost to Swansea City in their opening fixture.

It was a performance that was far off the pace, but Van Gaal has always insisted that it would take time before United thrived under his leadership and he has reiterated that point once again in his press conference today.

The United boss said: “Two weeks ago I was the king of Manchester and now I am the Devil of Manchester.

“It’s the football world. I think that the fans of Manchester United are intelligent and I have already said in all the press conferences that the first three months shall be difficult for the players, especially, but also for the fans.

“I have said this to [Ed] Woodward and the Glazers that it is always like that.

“They have hired me because of my philosophy. I am not hired to be fired, I am hired to build up a team and that’s a process and that process needs time.

“I bring another philosophy to the club and that’s difficult because I have to give a lot of information. You have to believe in the philosophy, but it needs time. It’s not an overnight job.”

Van Gaal takes his side to face Sunderland this weekend and they will be looking to bounce back to what was a disastrous start to the campaign.

They should have been boosted this week, too, by the arrival of Marcos Rojo – who was signed from Sporting Lisbon – as United look to add quality to their squad.

It is a much needed addition to the Red Devil’s defence, not least because Rojo is a player with an understanding of the formation that Van Gaal has implemented so far during his time in charge.

The 63-year-old has utilised a 3-4-1-2 system, which worked to great success in pre-season, but requires a shift in defensive style and Rojo’s experience of playing the system – with Sporting and Argentina – should help him.

“I played him in the World Cup against Argentina [when Van Gaal was in charge of Holland] so I have to analyse that video,” Van Gaal said.

“I was already enthusiastic about him because my philosophy is that you have to buy only players who fit in the profile and I think that Marcos fits in the profile as a left central defender and a left wing back.

“He played for Argentina as a left-wing-back, but for Sporting he played as a left-centre-back so I think he shall fit in our profile. He played a fantastic World Championship so I am very pleased.”

When asked about what Rojo needed to do to impress at United, Van Gaal responded: “First of all he needs a lot of brain, to be aware of spaces because we are defending spaces and that’s the first word I used to him.

“He has to be a very good header because the Premier League is always playing with long balls and he has to be aggressive in the right moment. He has to control himself in every moment and then maybe he can improve and I can help him.”

The former Bayern Munich manager was also asked about Paul Scholes’ comments, which had come out in mid-week.

The United legend had commented that he was ‘genuinely scared’ about what might happen to his former club if things were to go wrong this season, but Van Gaal was quick to calm any nerves that he, or the supporters, may have.

“I can imagine that fans are also scared,” he said. “They have seen already the last year and they have also seen the first home match, but they have to believe in the philosophy that we bring in this club.

“The players are believing that and they have showed already in the US but they have to show that here. That needs time and also Paul Scholes has to believe in that philosophy.”

One of the things which Van Gaal has been tasked with doing is improving United’s squad, which looked bereft of quality last season.

Although there are a host of big name players like Robin Van Persie, Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata at the club, there is a concern about holes in other areas.

However, strengthening a squad isn’t all about bringing players in – there is also a question of making sure that players who are surplus to requirements are cut from the team.

One of these players who Van Gaal could allow to leave, rather surprisingly, is Danny Welbeck. Reports surfaced today that the attacker was told he was free to find a new club, but his new manager says that the media are simply guessing around his future.

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He stated: “They are talking, but I know what I have said to Danny and Danny knows what I have said to him.

“I think the media are guessing - they were not in the room I said that and I don’t speak about it because it’s private and I assume Welbeck is not saying it either."

Should Welbeck be allowed to leave?

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