The Washington Post

New Manchester United manager calls squad ‘broken’

(Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Another day, another quotable Louis van Gaal soundbite.

The new Manchester United manager told The Guardian that the pressure of immediately succeeding United legend Alex Ferguson would not have bothered him, and in fact he may have preferred it.

“I had to follow Bobby Robson at Barcelona the year after he won three titles and there wasn’t a problem [Van Gaal won the league that year].

“When there is success you have a very good squad and now I have to follow and the squad was broken I think.

Van Gaal then commented on the current squad, complimenting the attacking talent, while also alluding to the holes in defense.

“When you look at the squad, there is quality. There is [Wayne] Rooney, [Robin] van Persie, [Javier] Hernández, [Danny] Welbeck but you also see Juan Mata, [Marouane] Fellaini and you see [Ander] Herrera. There are a lot of players that can play in the same position.

“It is not in balance. It’s more difficult to succeed in a difficult situation than in a fantastic situation.”

Manchester United crawled to the finish last season, finishing seventh in the league, it’s worst result in 25 years. For van  Gaal, subtly tempering expectations is a prudent strategy.

Thomas Johnson is a reporter.



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