Louis Van Gaal admitted Manchester United need more signings and revealed the team’s confidence was shattered by defeat in their opening game of the season against Swansea.
The Dutchman’s first Premier League game ended in a 2-1 defeat, with United showing all the familiar issues that had emerged last season, while a lack of signings and injuries forced Van Gaal’s hand into deploying players out of position, resulting in a lacklustre performance and a horrible start to the season.
Paul Scholes has described Louis Van Gaal as a “mad genius” and has claimed Manchester United will not win the league this season, as they haven’t strengthened their squad enough, compared to what their Premier League rivals have done.
The former United midfield maestro is confident the club have got the right man to steady the ship after a disastrous 12 months and towards a top four finish, but Scholes insists a title challenge is beyond the current squad’s capabilities, as they lack quality in midfield, despite the arrival of Ander Herrera.
Louis Van Gaal has chosen Manchester United’s captain for this season and, perhaps slightly surprising, Wayne Rooney and not Robin Van Persie is the man the new United manager has chosen to skipper the side in his inaugural campaign at Old Trafford.
The relationship between Van Persie and Van Gaal had many suggesting that the former Arsenal striker would be given the armband this season, particularly given he had captained Holland at the World Cup but, instead, the honour has gone to Rooney, with Darren Fletcher promoted to the role of vice-captain.
Louis Van Gaal has reiterated he’s unhappy with his current squad and has insisted Manchester United need to buy a world class winger this summer if they’re serious about returning to the levels expected of them.
United’s summer started in style with the arrivals of Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera but with just a week left until the start of the season the squad at Van Gaal’s disposal remains unbalanced and short of options, despite Ed Woodward’s bullish claims that United “had not budget” and could financially compete with the biggest teams in the world.
Tom Cleverley has vowed to prove his critics wrong this season, as he seeks to establish himself as a regular in Louis Van Gaal’s formation, after a troublesome campaign that saw him become a pantomime villain for the United supporters.
Cleverley’s dismal performances attracted strong criticism from section of United fans last season, while some England supporters went as far as setting up an online petition to prevent the 24-year-old from being selected in Roy Hodgson’s World Cup squad. Cleverley, however, has looked a better player under Van Gaal during United’s pre-season tour and is determined to silence the critics this season.
Louis Van Gaal will accelerate Manchester United’s summer clearout once the team returns from their US tour and he’s expected to inform a few players, likely to include Marouane Fellaini, Nani, Shinji Kagawa and Anderson, that they’re surplus to requirements at the club and that they can find themselves another club.
The Dutchman said he would have no problems in telling each player face-to-face about his choices and while he admitted he’d like a bit more time to assess his squad, Van Gaal has also confirmed that the curtains will come down for a lot of players between now and the end of the transfer window.
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.