Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal has told the club’s fans to stop living in the past, according to the Daily Express.
The opinionated Dutchman has admitted that he is struggling to manage the relentless expectation levels at Old Trafford, by claiming that it is unrealistic to demand another 25 years of unbroken success as enjoyed under previous boss Sir Alex Ferguson.
The club are still in a transitional phase, but following their exit from the Champions League last week, van Gaal spoke out about the fan backlash by saying: “The problem is that we have to meet the expectations. And the expectations at a club like this are very high.
“But you have to analyse the club now. You cannot compare it with five or 10 years ago, because there is an evolution in European football. They say Manchester United has to win [titles] but that is the past.”
Van Gaal has been inundated by fans, former players and pundits all telling him how good United should be, but the Dutchman feels that everyone should take a reality check despite having spent over £250m since taking over.
“It is more of a problem in the outside world than inside the club. No, I don’t have any doubts about my ability. I have read that I am 64 and I am too old. But only last year I was good enough to get Holland to third place at the World Cup.
“I read the same things – that my touch had gone – 20 years ago when I was at Barcelona and we went out at the group stage but we went on to win La Liga. It is always like that. I cannot change that. I cannot change what is in people’s mind. I can only say the facts.
“The facts are this – we are out of the group stage and, yes, I am very sorry. But I have done everything I could. My players have done everything they could. My board, I think, have also done everything.
“We are all working very hard but the problem is that we have to meet the expectations. And the expectations at a club like this are very high. But you have to analyse the club now. You cannot compare it with five or 10 years ago, because there is an evolution in football and in European football. They say Manchester United has to win [titles] but that is the past.
“I had the task when I came here to improve the club and win the title, when it is possible. We are in that process, but when I say that, I know I will face criticism that ‘football is not a process’ and things like that.”
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