Louis van Gaal’s has a reputation of being just as stern manager with incredible attention to detail like his predecessor at Manchester United Sir Alex Ferguson.
He hopes to turn them back into title challengers by instilling in his players his methods as quickly as possible during their summer tour of the United States.
While in Los Angeles for the opening leg, van Gaal believed the club’s training centre at the StubHub complex was too far away from the squad’s luxurious Beverly Wilshire Hotel.
So he got staff to book the nearby Holiday Inn so that players could rest there to ensure they could have double training sessions.
Van Gaal asked the club to do the same when United reached Washington on Wednesday and play near Detroit on Saturday, though not in Denver where they faced Roma on Saturday in the opening group game of the International Champions Cup. United won 3-2.
Wayne Rooney struck twice and created a goal for Juan Mata. Miralem Pjanic netted an amazing 75th-minute strike from inside his own half for Roma, before Francesco Totti’s 89th-minute spot-kick.
A stickler for discipline, van Gaal sent an advance party to Denver from LA to scout the location of the team’s hotel and ensure that all players will be seated in formal fashion when dining together, as at Carrington in Manchester, with van Gaal insistent they should arrive on time and that their diets are to his orders.
Of his defenders, Jonny Evans has impressed the 62-year-old Dutchman the most so far, particularly his ability to play out from the back because van Gaal wants to play a three center-back system.
Ideally, van Gaal would like to pair Evans with United transfer targets Arsenal’s Thomas Vermaelen and Borussia Dortmund’s Mats Hummels.
During United’s 7-0 hammering of LA Galaxy last week in Pasadena, any mistakes players made during the game were noted by van Gaal and he addressed them at half-time.
He has no tolerance for dissent and repeatedly tells his players to do as precisely as he says.
He has already told the Spanish-speaking players like Mata, Anda Herrera and Javier Hernandez that they must always speak English on the pitch.
This calm approach contrasts with the more demonstrative style of David Moyes on the touchline last season, though van Gaal is proving as strict as expected.
His micro-management style is legendary. On becoming Holland coach two years ago, he ordered adjustments in the team hotel to encourage players to mix rather than staying in their rooms alone, creating a big “family room” that had facilities for cards and table tennis with a large flat-screen TV, calling the area a “safe haven.”
United beat Inter Milan 5-3 on penalties after a 0-0 draw on Tuesday and face Real Madrid in their final game of the tour in Ann Arbor, Michigan on Saturday. Nemanja Vidic featured for Inter against his former club.
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