Louis van Gaal revealed that his appointment as Manchester United’s new manager was toasted by legendary boss Sir Alex Ferguson.
Speaking to a packed press conference, Van Gaal, spoke of applying his philosophy to what he called ‘the biggest club of the world’.
The former Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Ajax man, who was officially unveiled to the media yesterday, said he received a welcome congratulatory phone call from the former United gaffer.
“He called me to congratulate me and we have talked,” he said.
“We know each other very well and I will drink coffee and drink wine with him – maybe the best wine.
“Sir Alex (Ferguson) also has a strong philosophy and it was always confirmed because he won a lot of titles with Manchester United – I hope I can do that.
With United slipping to seventh spot in the Premier League last season after winning the title the year before, Van Gaal has signalled his intent to return the side to the summit – and not just scooping a Champions League return.
“First, I have to see how quickly the players can pick up my philosophy,” he said. “I haven’t worked with most of them and it is very important that there is a click between the players and the manager.
“For me, the challenge is always first and not fourth.”
The Dutchman, who guided Holland to a third-placed finish at the World Cup, jets out to the USA with his new players who are not on a post-World Cup break for a pre-season tour.
It will present Van Gaal an opportunity to assess the strength of his squad, as well as new arrivals Luke Shaw, Ander Herrera, against LA Galaxy, Roma, Inter Milan and Real Madrid.
The 62-year-old added: “It’s the biggest club of the world. In two days, I know already how important Manchester United is.
“I have to prepare a team and I have to adapt to this big club. I will do my utmost.
“It will not be easy, but when you see my career, you can see what I have won. The future will show if I can do that again.”
With a history of making the best of what he’s got and adapting rather than imposing a tactical system on new charges, Van Gaal will take his time to assess the players currently at Old Trafford.
“My method is always the same,” he said. “I want to look at the players. In the first three or four weeks, I want to see what they can do.
“Maybe I shall buy other players. The players that we have bought now, Shaw and Herrera were already on the list, so I gave my approval because I like them. First I want to see the players performing my philosophy.”
The Dutchman also confirmed he wants to find backroom roles for Class of ‘92 veterans Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes and Phil Neville.
“I have met a lot of people and when you see that kind of people who love the club, it’s a big family. They expect a lot of me, they are very excited to meet me, but can I fulfil that expectation?” he said.
“I think I can but because of the greatness of this club, it’s also much more difficult than at another club.
“This club is also guided in the commercial way, and we have to fulfil that also, and it is not always possible to fulfil the commercial expectations and the football expectations. That is my big challenge I think.”
Van Gaal also said he will take time over deciding who will be his next captain, following Nemanja Vidic’s departure to Inter Milan.
Robin van Persie has been heavily linked with the role after wearing the armband for Holland, while Wayne Rooney, who was widely tipped to lead the side during David Moyes’ failed tenure, is also in the frame.
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