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Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Manchester United Photocall - Old Trafford Source: PA Wire/Press Association Images

HAVING LED THE Netherlands to third place at the 2014 World Cup, Louis van Gaal has returned from Brazil to take up his role as Manchester United’s new boss. The former Barcelona manager faces the British media for the first time this afternoon, and we’ll have live updates from the press conference. 

Good afternoon! Five days after his Dutch side defeated hosts Brazil in the third/forth World Cup play-off, Louis van Gaal will meet the press as Manchester United boss today.

 

 

After the shambles that was last summer’s transfer dealings, United have gone out and done deals for targets early on  – England left-back Shaw, 19, arrived from Southampton for £30 million, making him the most expensive teenager in the history of the game, while Spanish midfielder Herrera cost £29 million from Athletic Bilbao.

There will surely be more new players coming in the door in the coming weeks with speculation that Chile’s combative midfielder Arturo Vidal continuously growing.

Who else would you like to see the club sign?

Having won the title in 2013, United finished seventh last season and will not compete in Europe this year. A vast improvement will be expected under Van Gaal, but what league position do you think they will achieve in 2014/15?

United fly out to the United States on Friday for the club’s pre-season tour where they will play matches against the Robbie Keane’s LA Galaxy, Roma, Inter Milan and Real Madrid before beginning their Premier League campaign at home to Swansea on August 16.

Here we go…

“First of all, I’d want to thank Sir Bobby Charlton. Because it’s a great honour to come in this stadium and to be guided by him.

Of the trainer of Manchester United I have taken my first steps with Bobby Charlton and it was a great honour to do it with him.”

He begins by saying he cannot predict how well he will do but he plans to do his utmost best at the “biggest club in the world”.

On his comment that Man United are the biggest club in the world, he adds:

“When I was in China and Brazil, people are talking about Manchester United. That is the difference. There is a lot of expectation but also a great challenge.”

“I hope I shall fulfil expectation but it will be difficult.”

Says he wants to see the current players for the first three or four weeks before looking to buy more. Ander Herrera was already on the list and he gave it his approval as he liked him.

On the captaincy: “All the players are possible candidates. I want to get to know them. For me the captain’s role is very important and therefore I need time.”

LvG says he needs all his knowledge to transfer his philosophy. Asks for time from the media and all also the club.

LvG presser 1

On the Class of ’92: “Nicky Butt is already assisting us. We will find a role for Paul Scholes and Phil Neville. That’s what I want.”

Admits it wasn’t possible to take a holiday when such an opportunity came up. Goes on a bit of a ramble before forgetting the initial question… laughter follows from the media.

The Guardian’s Jamie Jackson asks: “What would be success in your first season?”

“I don’t know,” he responds. “First I have to see how the players can pick up my philosophy. Then I will know.

“For me, the challenge is always first and not fourth. But there has to be a click between players and the manager.”

Has he spoke to Alex Ferguson? “He has called to congratulate me and we have talked about having a cup of coffee.

“We know each other very well and we shall drink coffee and wine.”

Asked about the importance of experienced players: “I’m not always convinced with experienced players. A boy who was Clarence Seedorf, who was 16-year-old was sometimes more experience than the older players.”

“It is very important that we have experienced players but not only in age, or in football, but as a human being.”

Finally, he adds that Michael Carrick injured himself the other day and calls it a “blow”. No one can follow that statement up as that’s the end of the press conference.

That’s that then. As we already know, Van Gaal is a hugely-imposing and impressive personality, who isn’t fazed one bit by the magnitude of the job.

It’s a stark contrast to David Moyes’ short tenure, when he often seemed overwhelmed by the club.

About the author:

Ben Blake

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