Van Gaal braced for United balancing act

Dutchman unveiled as club manager; hopes to fulfil expectations.

Afp July 18, 2014

MANCHESTER: Louis van Gaal claims balancing Manchester United’s commercial ambitions with their desire for success on the field will be one of his biggest challenges at Old Trafford.

Van Gaal was officially unveiled as United’s new manager at Old Trafford on Thursday and, speaking at his first press conference, the Dutchman emphasised that he understood the extra responsibilities that come with managing a club of United’s global stature.

United will shortly undertake a pre-season tour of the US and, without European football next season, the Premier League giants may be tempted to play exhibition friendly matches during the quiet periods of the season to generate extra revenue.

“This club is also guided in the commercial way and we have to fulfil that also,” said Van Gaal.

“That is not always possible, to fulfil the commercial expectations or the football expectations. That is my biggest challenge after two weeks.

“Maybe it will change after the US tour. I don’t know, but I don’t think so. This is the biggest club because it is known worldwide.

“It’s a club that is well known all over the world. When I was in China, or now in Brazil, people are talking about United. That’s the difference.

“There is a lot of expectation, but also a great challenge because of that and therefore I have chosen this club.”

Van Gaal confirmed he will not hesitate to speak to former United manager Alex Ferguson, with whom he already has a solid relationship and a great admiration, about the club.

“Sir Alex has a strong philosophy and he was always proving it right with the numerous titles he won. I hope I can do that too.”

Former United star Ferdinand joins QPR

Former United defender Rio Ferdinand signed for Premier League new-boys QPR on a free transfer Thursday and revealed he had turned down more lucrative offers in order to return to London.

Ferdinand agreed a one-year deal with the Hoops, ending his search for a new club following his release by United when his contract expired last month.

“I used to sit in the stands, my dad used bring me here as a young boy,” Ferdinand told QPR’s website. “There are great memories for me here and for my family.

“I had a lot of offers from all over the world — some in places with a better climate than here. But the draw for me was to play in the Premier League and back here where it all started.”

Published in The Express Tribune, July 19th, 2014.

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