Sunday 21 January 2018

We will win Premier League title within three years, claims Louis van Gaal

Louis van Gaal's Manchester United side are 11 points adrift of Chelsea in the Barclays Premier League
Louis van Gaal's Manchester United side are 11 points adrift of Chelsea in the Barclays Premier League

Jason Burt

Louis van Gaal has pledged to win the Premier League title during the three years of his current deal as Manchester United manager.

“I have a period of three years and I am sure I will win a championship or a title within the three years,” Van Gaal said ahead of the league meeting at Everton on Sunday. “Maybe we can do that next year.”

The United hierarchy had privately expected a title challenge this season, setting him Champions League qualification as a minimum target, and will hope that Van Gaal – who is planning to reshape his team this summer with up to five new signings – can mount a more sustained threat during the next campaign.

 Van Gaal conceded it has taken him longer than he expected to make United competitive again. “The process hasn’t worked that quickly here because, when I was with other teams, I had already won titles by now. Normally, our philosophy shall win titles. But we have had to make big changes here, not just in the philosophy but in the accommodation and structure of the club.”

Van Gaal will again be backed this summer in the transfer market as he plans moves for a central midfielder (a “number six”), a right-back, central defender, right-sided midfielder/ winger and a striker – although United insist no final decision has been made as to whether or not Radamel Falcao will be signed permanently.

However, a £43 million deal seems unlikely for the Colombian striker with Van Gaal also dismissive of Javier Hernandez’s prospects of returning to United after his season-long loan at Real Madrid ends.

“I give him a chance three, four, five weeks to train with us. He came in the end of July and Aug  31 I have to decide,” Van Gaal said.

“And then I said the same thing as I did for Danny Welbeck that when you are again substitute, it is not good for you. For you to be a substitute, it’s not good. Also for Danny Welbeck I have said that. It’s the only reason. And I don’t think that shall change.”

Asked whether Hernandez’s winning goal for Real in the Champions League quarter-final against Atletico Madrid made a difference, Van Gaal said: “So if you score a goal you are suddenly different? I don’t think so.”

United’s momentum was halted by the 1-0 defeat at Chelsea last weekend with Van Gaal dismissive of the tactics employed by his former protege, Jose Mourinho.

“Jose changed his organisation because he knew we would attack,” Van Gaal said. “For me, you shouldn’t make a tactical decision just to defend when you are at home against Manchester United. It was nearly a miracle that Chelsea scored a goal, given they had just four chances and only 30 percent possession.”

So annoyed was Van Gaal that he did not speak to Mourinho’s coaching staff when he visited the manager’s room after the match. “We didn’t speak after the match because it is difficult because we have to do our interviews and because we are at big clubs there are also interviews for abroad. I went to his manager’s room but only his assistants were there. After his analysis of the game, I was not willing to talk about it.”

Promoted Links

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport