Van Gaal: Forget Man United of ten years ago

Sarah Winterburn

Louis van Gaal has told Manchester United fans and media to stop living in the past.

The Dutchman faced more difficult questions on Friday after United’s exit from the Champions League on Tuesday; United are fourth in the Premier League but have scored just 20 goals in 15 matches.

Van Gaal’s critics again railed against the Dutchman in the wake of a defeat to Wolfsburg that was so spectacular it might have belonged in the David Moyes era.

But if United fans were looking for a rallying cry from their manager in the wake of the humbling defeat, they did not get one.

Van Gaal was asked at a press conference on the eve of United’s trip to Bournemouth whether he could make up for the club’s Champions League exit by winning the Premier League.

“No. It is difficult,” the United manager said. “You (the media) want to raise the expectations. We shall do everything to win something but it is very difficult.

“For the fans it shall be like that. But I want to manage the expectation. It is not as easy as everybody thinks.

“You can see what is happening in the Premier League every week. It is not so easy.

When questioned further, a defensive Van Gaal said:  “You have to analyse the club as it is now.

“You cannot compare it with 10 years ago, because there is an evolution in football and in European football.”

Actually, ten years ago Manchester United – under Sir Alex Ferguson – also went out at the Champions League group stages and eventually finished second in the Premier League.