Van Gaal warns Shaw and Zaha as Man U move on from Moyes
Plain speaking Old Trafford boss proves he is the complete opposite of his predecessor
New Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has heaped more misery on the shoulders of his predecessor David Moyes by insisting he would rather have taken over from Alex Ferguson than have inherited the "broken" squad left behind by Moyes.
The plain-speaking Dutchman also made it clear that he has no qualms about discussing his players in public as he warned £27m signing Luke Shaw that he was out of shape and would have to continue to train alone to build up his fitness. He also announced to the media that misfit Wilfried Zaha would have to reinvent himself as a striker at Old Trafford as there was no other way of fitting him into his new system, although he will get his chance against Inter Milan tonight.
Van Gaal described himself as "a trainer-coach who sees individuals and what they neeed", before adding that he had seen enough of Shaw to make him practice on his own.
"Van Gaal struggled to conceal his dismay that Shaw had returned so out of shape for pre-season barely a fortnight after returning from the World Cup finals with England," says The Times.
In addition to his message for Shaw, Van Gaal also had one for Zaha. "The young winger is the only United player not to have figured on tour yet," says the Daily Mail, "and [he] has been told he must make his future at the club as a striker if he is to fit in with Van Gaal's 3-5-2 system."
When asked about the state of the squad he inherited Van Gaal was, once again, frank.
"When there is success you have a very good squad and now I have to follow and the squad was broken I think," he said, describing the situation at Old Trafford as "difficult".
But there are reasons to believe that the damage will soon be undone, says Ed Malyon in the Daily Mirror. "Louis van Gaal's greatest asset as the new man in charge is that in so many ways he is the complete opposite of David Moyes," he writes.
"In confidence, in his conduct, his treatment of the press, his entertainment value, his running of a club and – as is becoming more and more evident – his football, he is just the antithesis of Moyes and, thus, the malaise that descended over Old Trafford (and Carrington) last year."