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Louis van Gaal criticizes Manchester United’s U.S. tour schedule

Jul 23, 2014, 7:38 AM EDT

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Louis van Gaal has officially been with Manchester United as their new manager for about a week now.

His straight-shooting, no-nonsense approach has already shone through. Not in the best way.

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Ahead of United’s first game of their U.S. tour in L.A. on Wednesday against the LA Galaxy, Van Gaal, 62, has lambasted United’s decision to play preseason games in L.A., Denver, Washington and Michigan this summer. Oh dear. He was also seen shouting and screaming at players as they went through their paces at the Pasadena Rose Bowl in a training session open to the public.

United have embarked on their first U.S. tour in many years and with eight other Premier League sides currently out in the States, it seems like the thing to do.

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Not as far as LVG is concerned. Speaking to reporters ahead of the Galaxy game, here’s what he had to say.

“You have to travel distances, you have to fly a lot, you also have jetlag – that is not very positive for a good preparation,” van Gaal said. The tour was already arranged so I have to adapt – and Manchester United shall do everything to adapt to my rules for good preparation.”

Van Gaal went on to state that he hopes the preseason tour next season will be much shorter, as this year he had no say in the organization after being appointed after the schedule had been made. However, the Red Devils have toured Australia and the Far East during recent years in order to grow their brand across the world.

If United make the final of the International Champions Cup in Miami this summer, they would have traveled over 12,000 miles for games this summer. Out of all the PL teams on tour in the U.S. that is the furthest travel distance by far.

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So former Dutch national team manager Van Gaal, who has come straight from leading the Netherlands to a third-place World Cup finish, does have a point when it comes to the schedule. Speaking earlier this week United’s Chief Executive Ed Woodward stated that the Premier League is targeting America as the number one growing market in the world for soccer. United’s tour is aimed at getting more sponsorship and growing their brand in North America.

Will commercial reasons get in the way of Van Gaal’s preparations for the new season? Time will tell, but the Dutchman is not happy.

  1. mcg1848 - Jul 23, 2014 at 8:19 AM

    Sour grapes. Time to pay the piper for that relatively easy Dutch travel schedule in Brazil.

    • Ben Saufley - Jul 23, 2014 at 11:41 AM

      I’m not convinced you know what “sour grapes” means.

      • mcg1848 - Jul 23, 2014 at 5:11 PM

        Choose another produce then. LVG can’t change it but is going to complain about it anyway. It applies.

      • Ben Saufley - Jul 24, 2014 at 4:35 PM

        “Sour grapes” means criticizing something you can’t *have* and pretending you didn’t want it anyway. “I didn’t want those grapes anyway, I’m sure they’re sour.” Aesop: “Any fool can despise that which he cannot have.” He’s not saying “a lighter travel schedule would be stupid, I like what we have” – that’d be sour grapes.

  2. Ian's Rushtache - Jul 23, 2014 at 8:42 AM

    And that 12, 000 miles is still less than half the distance from their last tour of Asia.

    Looks like Utd went from a moper to a whiner.

    • gla1967 - Jul 23, 2014 at 1:28 PM

      If van Gaal was United’s manager then, he would have complained about that too. Love how he says it like it is. Absolutely no BS whatsoever.

  3. footballer4ever - Jul 23, 2014 at 9:26 AM

    Cry me a river, Van Gaal. Remember, this is not hometown club football. Manchester United is a worldwide Football Club which benefit$ from such status in many ways. In other words, zip it and coach your team because noone likes whiners in this side of the pond.

  4. geejon - Jul 23, 2014 at 10:55 AM

    They’ll have plenty of time to rest during the season what with no European football and all.

  5. twerkslikeMiley - Jul 23, 2014 at 11:19 AM

    I notice this guy complains a lot.

  6. cjdeeds - Jul 23, 2014 at 11:36 AM

    So what I am hearing is that the EPL teams couldn’t hang if they played in the MLS.

    • Ben Saufley - Jul 23, 2014 at 11:42 AM

      I was gonna point out this same thing. Trying doing this all season, man.

  7. granadafan - Jul 23, 2014 at 11:48 AM

    Well, I’m going to tonight’s game at the Rose Bowl in LA. I sure hope they don’t mope and whine like their coach.

  8. craigspecialkfan - Jul 23, 2014 at 12:37 PM

    sour grapes for a sour puss.

    • Ben Saufley - Jul 24, 2014 at 5:02 PM

      Not. Sour. Grapes. You are looking for another expression: this one does not apply.

  9. gla1967 - Jul 23, 2014 at 1:27 PM

    Brilliant. I love the cut of van Gaal’s jib. The EPL season should be the focus, not some ‘glamour friendlies’ (ie marketing and promotion opportunities).

    Arsenal have the right idea. One U.S. friendly is enough.

    • andyoursistertoo - Jul 23, 2014 at 4:06 PM

      I remember Real Madrid playing in a tournament here last year they traveled from west coast to the east. Looks like it didn’t seem to bother them to much on route to Champions League winners. Looks like those “glamour” friendlies paid off for them ??

  10. mazblast - Jul 23, 2014 at 1:39 PM

    While he seems to be a brilliant football coach, I’ve noticed that van Gaal whines and complains a lot more than even your average manager. If he’s married, he must be a real joy to live with.

  11. gla1967 - Jul 23, 2014 at 2:25 PM

    Who cares about ‘growing the brand’. The most important thing is that van Gaal prepares the team for the upcoming season. Look how many top players were crocked in the endless friendlies that preceded the World Cup.

    If United don’t win the league – or at the very least qualify for the Champions League again or win a trophy, there won’t be worldwide brand to grow, since the glory hunters will have long since lost interest.

    • paperlions - Jul 23, 2014 at 6:21 PM

      I’m sure he and his players enjoy their salaries. Where does he think that money comes from?

      • gla1967 - Jul 23, 2014 at 8:30 PM

        Revenue comes from many sources, but you’re missing the point. Van Gaal feels that this lengthy preseason tour is affecting his preparation for the domestic season, which begins in three weeks. If Manchester United don’t deliver, many of their fickle worldwide fanbase will lose interest, as will sponsors. It is absolutely critical that they do well this season, after the Moyes fiasco.

        Forgive me if I think that winning trophies and qualifying for the Champions League is more important for the good of the club than a few friendlies.

  12. gla1967 - Jul 23, 2014 at 7:56 PM

    Who cares what Real Madrid do preseason. Van Gaal has a job on his hands at United. They need to be rebuilt, top to bottom.

  13. mikeevergreen - Jul 23, 2014 at 10:08 PM

    Louis has a lot of Gaal to be complaining.

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