Darren Fletcher believes Manchester United can win the league this season and claimed the team is getting stronger and more confident under Louis Van Gaal’s tutelage, with the Dutchman having already gone some distance into bringing back the club’s “winning mentality” in the dressing room.
United booked a spot in tonight’s International Champions Cup final after a 3-1 win over Real Madrid on Saturday, their third win in four games on their US tour (United required penalties to get the better of Inter Milan) and Fletcher insisted the players are relishing the opportunity to face Liverpool and are in a confident mood have some good displays.
Only a couple of weeks after Ed Woodward was eager to stress that, for the second consecutive summer, Manchester United “had no budget”, the club has warned potential investors that the club could fail to attract top players and retain the ones currently in the squad, if the club fails to qualify for the Champions League this season.
A second consecutive season away from Europe’s elite competition would put United in a difficult situation and the Glazers were more than eager to stress the point when they announced their plans to sell a further five per cent of the club.
Wilfried Zaha has admitted David Moyes and him didn’t see eye-to-eye and that he was frozen out by the former United manager last season, but he’s relishing the opportunity to impress Louis Van Gaal.
Zaha signed for United in January 2012 for £15m but remained on loan at Crystal Palace for the remainder of the campaign making the switch to Old Trafford at the beginning of last season, but he was given very few opportunities to impress and was eventually shipped out to Cardiff on loan in January.
Louis Van Gaal has said he’s inherited a squad that is “broken” and “unbalanced” and dismissed suggestions that it’ll be easier for him to succeed, given David Moyes’ disastrous tenure at the club.
The Dutchman was asked whether he thought replacing Sir Alex Ferguson would have been harder than replacing Moyes, Van Gaal insisted that following a manager as successful as Fergie wouldn’t have been a problem for him.
Juan Mata admitted Manchester United players were given a first glimpse of what to expect from Louis Van Gaal when he’s disappointed, after the Dutchman made clear he was far from impressed by his team’s 3-2 win over AS Roma in Denver on Saturday.
United won their inaugural match in the International Champions Cup but looked far from their best and almost scuppered a three-goal lead as Roma scored twice in the last 20 minutes, leading Van Gaal to criticise some of his players’ performances, including Mata’s. However, far from seeking excuses for his performance, the Spaniard insisted Van Gaal’s demand for perfection and almost obsessive attention to detail is exactly what United need.
Phil Jones has revealed Manchester United have already embraced Louis Van Gaal’s tactical revolution and despite having been in charge for less than two weeks, the Dutchman has already won many admirers within the United squad, particularly thanks to his footballing philosophy.
Jones impressed in United’s 7-0 mauling of Los Angeles Galaxy on Thursday and the 22-year-old has insisted he’s happy to adapt to Van Gaal’s new 3-5-2 system, if that means finally being handed an extended run is his preferred position, after spending his first three season at the club covering a variety of roles.
Ryan Giggs has compared new Manchester United manager, Louis Van Gaal, to Sir Alex Ferguson, claiming both men have a special aura about them and both understand what it takes to make a team successful.
Van Gaal has only been in charge for nine days but that didn’t prevent him from getting his United career off to a flying start as the Reds trounced Los Angeles Galaxy 7-0 in their first pre-season friendly on Thursday, and Giggs believes what he’s seen of the Dutchman so far has a lot in common with what he experienced during the 23 years he played under Fergie.
Louis Van Gaal has vowed to stick with the 3-5-2 formation that marked United’s 7-0 win against LA Galaxy earlier this morning, as the Dutchman made his debut as Manchester United manager in the first pre-season friendly.
Wayne Rooney, Reece James and Ashley Young both grabbed two goals apiece, while Danny Welbeck was also on the scoresheet but the biggest point of focus of Van Gaal’s first game in charge was the 3-5-2 formation he opted to field, with Jonny Evans, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling at centre-backs and Luke Shaw and Antonio Valencia at wing-backs.