Louis van Gaal was officially presented to the world in the presence of the media and a plethora of supporters at about 3pm on Thursday afternoon at Old Trafford as the new Manchester United manager.
The 62-year-old former Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager becomes United’s first coach from outside the British Isles.
Van Gaal took charge of his first press
conference since taking the United reign following his two-year deal as David Moyes successor, five days after leading the Netherlands to a third-place finish at the World Cup.
Aloysius Paulus Maria van Gaal says United are the “biggest club in the world” but have to re-establish themselves after last season’s horrendous campaign.
The Dutchman paid tribute to United’s power on the world stage but also reminded fans of the sharp improvement needed on last season.
Here’s the full transcript of Van Gaal’s first press conference as United manager.
“Last season you were seventh so you are not the biggest club. You have to prove yourself,” he said.
“But all over the world people are talking about Manchester United – that is the difference.
“It is a great challenge because of that and that is why I chose this club.
“I have coached Barcelona, Ajax and Bayern Munich who are all No 1 in their country. Now I am at Manchester United which is No 1 in England.
“My method is always the same – I want to look at the players I have now.
“I want to see in the first few weeks what they can do. Maybe then I shall buy others players. Shaw and Herrera were already on the list. I gave my approval because I like them.
“I want to see the (current) players perform with my philosophy.
Explaining his approval for the signing of 24-year-old Herrera and 18-year-old Luke Shaw, Van Gaal said: “I’m not always convinced of the experience of players.
“I have said a lot of times, a boy like Clarence Seedorf, he was 16, I let him make his debut [at Ajax].
“Sometimes he was more experienced than a player of 30 – it depends on the personality.
“You mentioned Wayne Rooney, but there is, for example, Michael Carrick. He is injured, that is in my opinion a big blow because he is an experienced player.
“So we need experience, not only in age, but also as a human being. My philosophy is not only the football player but the total.
“I will do my utmost best but I will not give predictions. It is the biggest club in the world. When you see my career you can see what I have won. The future will show if I can do that again.”
Legendary former manager Sir Alex Ferguson has been in touch, with Van Gaal promising to have a glass of wine with the iconic boss.
“He (Sir Alex) called me to congratulate me and we have spoken about a cup of coffee,” Van Gaal revealed.
“We were always invited to UEFA and we always did a night out with a glass of wine.
“So I will have a glass of wine, the better wine, with him.”
I want to thank Sir Bobby Charlton because it’s a great honour to come in this stadium and be guided by him,” Van Gaal continued.
“These were my first steps as coach of
Manchester United and I was very proud to do that with Sir Bobby Charlton.
“I saw him play and I know what he means to English football. It was a great honour.”
The new boss also revealed 32-year-old veteran midfielder Michael Carrick suffered damage to a bone in his left ankle and underwent surgery on Thursday morning to establish the extent of the damage. And could be out for up to 10 weeks.
“Michael Carrick – he is injured in the last day or the day before. So that is, in my opinion, a big blow because he is an experienced player,” Van Gaal said.
“Always it’s very important we have experienced players, but not only in age, not only in football experience, but also experience as a human being.”
When asked how long the player would be out for, he replied: “Much too long for me. I think the club shall come with a press bulletin.”