Louis van Gaal: Restoring Manchester United could take three years
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal said that the process of restoring Manchester United to its previous levels of success could take three years, or the length of his contract, according to The Guardian.
United has struggled to begin the season, sitting in a tie for ninth place in the Premier League table entering the weekend.
"It’s not good enough," van Gaal said, according to The Guardian. "I feel myself very lousy for the fans and my staff, but also for the board, because they have a great belief in me, my staff and the players. I’m feeling lousy for everyone that we have 13 points from 10 games. But we are in a process.”
“I said from the beginning, when we won every game in the United States, that the process shall take more than one year – it will take three years, I hope, because that is always dependent on a lot of things.”
In a similar statement last month, van Gaal said it was "stupid" for him to say when he initially took the Manchester United job in July that his teams usually begin to show success after three months.
United's 13 points through the first 10 games is its fewest since 1986. The team has still yet to win a road match this season, with its seven-game road winless streak the club's longest since at least 1996.
United finished seventh in the Premier League last season, the club's worst league performance since finishing 13th in 1989-90. As a result, United missed qualifying for the Champions League for the first time since 1995-96.
In the offseason United spent $238 million on new players, including a record $95 million signing of Real Madrid winger Angel Di Maria, but the influx hasn't yet equated to a better performance.
The team has struggled with injuries this year and defender Marcos Rojo is the latest to go down, dislocating his shoulder in the derby against Manchester City last Sunday. Rojo won't play for an extended period of time, and Phil Jones, Jonny Evans and Radamel Falcao all remain out also.
Van Gaal previously coached the Dutch national team and clubs such as Bayern Munich and Barcelona.
United hosts Crystal Palace on Saturday.
- Ben Estes