'Van Gaal needs time at United'

Former United coach Meulensteen 
says players need to buy into 
new manager's philosophy

Don't expect Louis van Gaal to deliver instant success.

That's the view of former Manchester United coach Rene Meulensteen, who believes his Dutch compatriot has a tough task ahead of him in the Premier League after what he believes is the "end of an era" for the Red Devils.

Van Gaal was appointed as successor to David Moyes ahead of the World Cup, following the Scot's nightmarish 10-month stint in charge of the 20-time league champions.

The Old Trafford faithful have seen a glimpse of van Gaal's technical nous during Holland's World Cup campaign, which saw the Oranje narrowly miss out on a place in the final and eventually finish in third place.

But Meulensteen (above) believes his fellow countryman will need some time to find his feet in the Premiership.

"I think what fans need to consider is that this season will be a new start for United," Meulensteen told Kick Off.

"It's almost like it's the end of an era at the club, with Ryan Giggs hanging up his boots and players like (Rio) Ferdinand and (Nemanja) Vidic all leaving - it's a big change for the team.

"Nobody expected what would happen under Moyes last season and obviously United will want to leave that behind them as quickly as they can.

"In that respect, van Gaal is a man with a very strong personality and a very strong philosophy, so he will try to implement that process right away.

"But not only will the players have to buy into his philosophy, people must also realise the process will take time. At this moment, he has to build a new team because United are still a team that can be beaten, unless proven otherwise at the start of the new Premier League season."

Van Gaal is thought to be in the market for at least one centre back this summer, with both Vidic and Ferdinand having departed Old Trafford on free transfers at the end of last season.

Borussia Dortmund and Germany defender Mats Hummels is one of the players who has been linked with a switch to Old Trafford and former United defender and TNP analyst Paul Parker thinks that the 25-year-old could thrive at United.


"The one player who really jumped out at me at the World Cup as a player I'd love to see in the Premier League was Mats Hummels and he would be a wonderful signing for United," Parker wrote in his Eurosport column yesterday.

"At Old Trafford, they have lost two centre halves in Ferdinand and Vidic, who were world class up until quite recently but who were dying on their feet by the end of their United careers.

"United are desperate for a player in that position who is of proven quality and Hummels has been doing it for the last few years at Dortmund and showed just how good he is at the World Cup."

Hummels signed for Dortmund from Bayern Munich back in 2009.

- Wire Services.