"Your first match is always special when you are coaching in a new club. But it’s a match in preparation time. I think the game against Valencia at Old Trafford is more the match that I will feel the tension."
"I hope that my team is supported by the fans. That is very important because after last season, the fans are not spoiled, and I hope we can spoil these fans in this season."
- Louis van Gaal
"It is a dream for me to be here because this history is very big and now I have the chance to play here. I have the possibility to show my own character for United."
"I will miss my friends and family. But I think I’m ready for this big step. I’m ready for this time. I’m 24 years old and this is the moment to come to the biggest club in the world. I come here to be a good professional but there are other players in midfield. Between us I am sure we will help the team."
- Ander Herrera
"I don’t feel any pressure to come in for Evra. He has been great for the club for the last 10 years and I hope I can carry that on. There is always going to be pressure, no matter where you go, but I try not to focus on that. I try to focus on my own game, what I do on the pitch. And with the new gaffer you have to impress on the pitch and that is something I am looking forward to, and hopefully in these pre-season games I am looking to show him what I can do."
- Luke Shaw
"He’s been a great servant for us, a great leader and a fantastic personality in the dressing room as well. It’s another experienced player going, but unfortunately that happens at football clubs, players move on and we wish him all the best but he has been a fantastic player for Manchester United."
"He was very noble in his letter to the fans and he loved Manchester United, there’s no doubt about that. He knew what it was all about, the traditions and the history of United. He embraced it all and he was a firm favourite of the fans as well. When things are going against you, you need some characters like Patrice in a dressing room to lift everybody’s spirits, so he will be sorely missed on that front. It’s a big loss but we are Manchester United and we move on."
- Denis Irwin
"After a great deal of thought I have decided the time is right for me to leave Manchester United. It is the biggest decision of my career as this club is, and will always remain, in my heart."
"Joining and playing for Manchester United has been a privilege, a dream come true and my time here has been so memorable. Through the good times and the bad times we have all stuck together and remained loyal. I have always said you don’t just join Manchester United, you join the family and long may that tradition continue."
"This club is steeped in history and I feel privileged to have become a part of that. Over the past nine years I have met and worked with some incredible people, many of whom will remain friends for life. I would like to thank everyone at the club - teammates, coaches and in particular all the staff who made every single day in Carrington or at Old Trafford a special day."
"An immense thank you to Sir Alex Ferguson for making it all possible, for giving me the privilege to be a captain, to be inspired by the legend of Manchester United and to understand that nobody is bigger than the club."
"My biggest thanks go to the fans. We have had some fantastic times together, we lifted all of those trophies together and that night in Moscow will live with us all forever. Every single time I stepped out in that shirt I knew I was playing for the badge and for a very special club. My passion for this club will live on and I know you guys will go on to enjoy more success in the coming seasons."
David Beckham visited Manchester United in Los Angeles.
"It’s the start of a new era for the club, with a new manager and players coming in. I’m really happy with the manager’s style of football and hopefully at the end of the season we can celebrate something, which would be amazing for him and for us."
"But right now, the most important thing is to get ready, step by step and not too hard because injuries can happen. It’s important for us to prepare physically and mentally for the long season. We’re focused on improving and trying to learn from the manager, to play at our best level during the season. The main idea is to play as a team and compete for titles."
- Juan Mata
"It will be a different pre-season for me because in the last six or seven years I’ve always had a tournament with the national team and haven’t had a complete pre-season with my team. So this time I will do the whole tour of the States, which is good for me to prepare for a long and hard season. This is my first pre-season with United and I’m enjoying it: the journey was good, the hotel is nice and the training ground is great."
- Juan Mata
"When I first turned up everyone was telling me how big the club was but you don’t realise how big it is until you come away on a pre-season tour. It’s crazy. Personally, I think Manchester United is the biggest club and it will push me to do my best. I signed a contract here because I know what the club is capable of. I know I will improve at the club."
- Luke Shaw
"The tour will be a new experience for me because it will be my first time outside Europe. All the people have told me there is a lot of United fans in America and I can’t wait to play in front of them."
"I am very happy and really enjoying being at the club and in the city. The first couple of weeks here have been great. Training has been good, similar to at (Athletic) Bilbao in that we train a lot with the ball. The coaches want us to have the ball and keep possession which is great for the players."
"Juan and David told me United is a big club, maybe the biggest in the world and they said there is a great spirit here. I have (already) seen that. I am happy and just want to start playing now."
- Ander Herrera
Louis van Gaal has named a 25-man Manchester United travelling squad for Tour 2014.
New signings Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw are also part of the travelling party, but Michael Carrick and Anderson unfortunately miss the trip due to injuries.
Javier Hernandez, on the other hand, has arrived in the United States ahead of the match against LA Galaxy.
— Louis van Gaal
On becoming United boss and being introduced to Sir Bobby:
First of all, I want to thank Sir Bobby Charlton because it’s a great honour to come into this stadium and be guided by Sir Bobby Charlton. My first steps… okay, my first ones were with Bayern and Barcelona, but as a trainer/coach of United these were my first steps and I was very proud to do that with Sir Bobby Charlton. I have the age to have seen him playing so I know what he means for Manchester United and English football. It was a great honour to do that with him.
On getting the Reds back on top again:
I will do my utmost best. That’s what I can give. I cannot give predictions because you never know. It’s the biggest club of the world. Within two days, I know already how important Manchester United is but also how important the sponsors are. I have to work, I have to prepare a team, I have to adapt to this big club.
It shall not be easy but I will do my utmost best and, when you see my career, you can see what I have won. That’s all I can say. The future shall show if I can do that again.
So you believe United are the biggest club in the world?
It’s the biggest club because of how well it’s known around the world. In sport, you are never the biggest club because every season you have to be prove. Last year, you were seventh so then you are not the biggest club. But it’s well known all over the world. When I was in China or Brazil, people are talking about United when I was the coach of the Dutch team.
That’s the difference. There’s a lot of expectation but it’s also a great challenge because of that. Therefore, I have chosen this club. I worked for Barcelona - in my opinion, number one in Spain. I’ve coached Ajax - number one in the Netherlands, and I’ve coached Bayern Munich - number one in Germany. Now I’m in Manchester United - number one in England. I hope I fulfil the expectation but it shall be difficult.
What is your style?
My method is always the same. I want to look at the players now, the players present. Of course I know how the players play. But I don’t know the players under my training or coaching. In the first three or four weeks, I want to see what they can do. Then maybe I will buy other players.
The players we have bought now - Shaw and Herrera - they were already on the list. I gave my approval because I like them. First I want to see the players performing under my philosophy.
On the expectations of the fans:
The owners and the CEO have a lot of confidence in me. They have come to me and I explained my philosophy and they were excited. Because of that I’m here. We have to wait and see if I can fulfil this expectation of those people and the supporters.
The fans are very important, I know that. You cannot predict. In the world of football you cannot predict. Nobody could have predicted the Dutch did so well, nobody would have predicted Germany would beat Brazil 7-1. You know that so… why do you ask?
Who will become captain?
All the players are possible candidates. I have to get to know them, so I will use four, five or six weeks. Or it could be two months.
For me, the captain’s role is very important. Therefore, I need time. Sometimes I haven’t had the time - then I have to make quick decisions. But quick decisions are not always good. I’ll use my time for it. I think a captain is very important.
Will the philosophy extend all the way through to the youth team?
The owners and the CEO, Ed Woodward, have asked me to give advice but the main project is the first team. That’s more of a short-term [thing] than the youth - that’s a long-term project. The first year or two years we have to separate them. Now, I need all my knowledge to transfer my philosophy into this selection. You have to give me time to do that. Not only you, but also the CEO and the owners.
On the Class of 92’s future:
Nicky Butt is already assisting us, Paul Scholes we shall find a role for him and also for Phil Neville, I believe. That’s what we want. But it has to also be possible and we have to look at that. We have to adapt to the qualities of these people. It’s not an easy job. We have to speak personally with them - that’s why we have to wait and see.
Why didn’t you take a holiday?
It’s not allowed! Of course it was better I have a sabbatical or that I come in January. But I could not let them go when you have been asked by the biggest club in the world. It’s a big challenge, a big ambition for me. When there is a challenge like this, I never let it go. This is a holiday for me. I like the way I can work.
What is your personality?
I’m democratic, empathetic to human beings. Of course I have a strong personality, but the other characteristics are more important. That’s the key of my personality.
What would be a successful season?
I don’t know. First, what I’ve already said, I have to see how the players perform my philosophy and how quick they can pick up this philosophy. Then I can answer. Now, I haven’t worked with most of them so we have to wait and see. It’s very important there’s a click between players and the manager.
Is fourth place the minimum you expect from this squad?
For me, the challenge is always to come first. Not fourth. But when you have to analyse after one season, it’s dependent on the click between the players and the manager.
On coming to England:
I have never worked in the Premier League so it’s a big challenge I wanted to take. I have worked in Spain and Germany and in my time of Barcelona I think at that time the Spanish league was the best league. And in my time in Germany we were the best league. And maybe, when I work here the Premier League is the best league!
Are you autocratic?
The media wants to show that part of the personality (autocratic). But that part of the personality is small. But when you repeat that everybody thinks like that. I’m always the same person. When I was 39, when I began at Ajax - I played professional football until I was 37 and an assistant - the personality hasn’t really changed. It’s the same.
But autocratic and strong personality is not the same thing and a lot of people think it’s the same. I have a strong philosophy. Every year I’ve trained, it confirms this philosophy. Sir Alex also had a strong philosophy and it was always affirming that because he won a lot of titles. I hope I can do that.
Have you spoken to Sir Alex?
Sir Alex called me to congratulate me and we have spoken about getting a coffee or to eat with each other. We were always invited to UEFA forums and we would always have a glass of wine. We know each other very well. I shall drink coffee and wine with him - maybe the best wine I can imagine.
How does it feel to be United manager?
It’s difficult to describe. I’ve only been here two days. I’ve met a lot of people and when you see those kind of people who love the club, you see it’s a big family and they expect a lot from me. They are very excited to meet me. Can I fulfil that expectation? I think I can do it.
But because of the greatness of this club it’s also much more difficult than in another club. Also, this club is also guided in the commercial way and we have to fulfil that also. And that’s not always possible to fulfil both commercial and football. That’s my big challenge after two days. Maybe it will be changing after the US tour, but I don’t think so!
How important will the experienced players like Wayne Rooney be?
You have to know that I’m not always convinced of the experience of players. I’ve said a lot of times, a boy like Clarence Seedorf was 16 years old… I gave him his debut for Ajax at that time. At 16 he was sometimes more experienced than a player who was 30.
It depends on the personality. You named Rooney. For example, Michael Carrick has been injured the day before and that’s a blow for me because he’s experienced. It’s very important we have experienced players, but not only in age and football experience but experience as a human being. My philosophy isn’t only the football player but in total. Then there are not so many experienced players.
"Everywhere I have been as a coach, I always pick one who knows the club and knows the culture, because I think it’s very important. I want to know the culture, so he can show me that. He also knows the best players, the talented boys in the youth system, so he can help me a lot. And I can help him to be a very good manager in the future."
- Louis van Gaal