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Louis van Gaal wary of Manchester United's commercial obligations

Updated: Friday, 18 Jul 2014 11:08 | Comments

Louis van Gaal: 'They expect a lot of me, they are very excited to meet me, but can I fulfil that expectation?'
Louis van Gaal: 'They expect a lot of me, they are very excited to meet me, but can I fulfil that expectation?'

Louis van Gaal described living up to expectations on the pitch while fulfilling commercial obligations off it as the biggest challenge facing him as Manchester United manager.

After beginning his tenure on Wednesday, Van Gaal addressed the media for the first time at Old Trafford on Thursday.

The Dutchman, who guided Holland to a third-place finish at the World Cup, gave a typically commanding performance but twice mentioned concerns about the commercial demands of the job.

On Friday, Van Gaal will fly out to the USA with the players who are not on a post-World Cup break for a pre-season tour comprising matches against the Los Angeles Galaxy, Roma, Inter Milan and Real Madrid.

The 62-year-old said: "It's the biggest club of the world. In two days I know already how important Manchester United is.

"I have to prepare a team and I have to adapt to this big club. I will do my utmost. It will not be easy, but when you see my career, you can see what I have won. The future will show if I can do that again.

"I have met a lot of people and when you see that kind of people who love the club, it's a big family. They expect a lot of me, they are very excited to meet me, but can I fulfil that expectation?

"I think I can but because of the greatness of this club, it's also much more difficult than at another club.

"This club is also guided in the commercial way, and we have to fulfil that also, and it is not always possible to fulfil the commercial expectations and the football expectations. That is my big challenge I think."

"You have to know that I'm not always convinced of the experience of players"

Van Gaal was dealt a blow before he had even walked through the door after midfielder Michael Carrick damaged ankle ligaments in training.

He underwent an operation on his left ankle on Thursday morning but could miss the first two months of the season.

Carrick was left out of England's World Cup squad this summer, but appears to be a key part of Van Gaal's plans, with the Dutchman's comments on the nature of "experience" painting him as an admirer of the midfielder's mindset as well as his technical skills.

Asked about the importance of an experienced player like Wayne Rooney, Van Gaal said: "You have to know that I'm not always convinced of the experience of players.

"Michael Carrick was injured a day or two ago so that's a big blow, because he is an experienced player.

"It's very important that we have experienced players, but not only in age, not only in football, but also experience as human beings.

"My philosophy is not only the football player but also in total - and then there are not so many 'experienced' players."

Van Gaal will take time to assess his current squad before deciding on possible new signings or departures, while is also in no hurry to appoint a captain.

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