Manchester United legend Denis Irwin has spoken of how impressed he is with Louis van Gaal‘s pre-season preparations.
As part of the club’s promotion of this summer’s USA Tour, Irwin, who played 368 times for United between 1990 and 2002, has detailed how impressed he has been by the meticulous preparation that has been undertaken ahead of this summers pre-season tour.
He said: “Last year he came in late because of how well the Dutch team did at the World Cup so it wasn’t his tour in terms of preparation.
“This time he’s been able to organise it himself, organise the distances we travel, where we stay, where we train and also organise having the matches four days apart.”
Van Gaal was outspoken last year in detailing his dissatisfaction at the distances involved in the club’s promotional tours and the detrimental impact it had on his players. This year’s tour, again to the United States, will only feature two main bases, so as to limit the amount of travelling involved and to maximise time for training and recovery.
Irwin is also impressed by the way in which the tour schedule gradually improves the quality of the opposition, helping the team prepare for the season ahead by building up to the level required.
He added: “His preparation is unique because of the amount of detail there is to it. He’ll be looking forward to it and the way the games are with Barcelona and PSG as the final two means it’ll get tougher as the tour goes on, but the players’ fitness will also improve so the set-up will be exactly how the manager wants it.
Irwin’s admiration for Van Gaal’s methods extend well beyond the intricately planned tour and he has a deep respect for how the Dutchman prepared for games during last season.
He continued: “I’ve been impressed by his organisation and preparation for games throughout his first season – I’ve been impressed by a lot of things really and we’ve progressively got better. During the first couple of months of the season the results and performances weren’t anything to write home about but in the final part of the campaign we’ve had some good results, bar some of the recent ones against Chelsea and Everton for example.
Irwin, a stalwart of Ferguson’s United teams, knows the importance of a good home record to a side with title aspirations, as well as the ability to pick up points on the road.
“Our home form has been excellent. The away form probably needs to be improved for next season but I certainly think we are on the right track and we’ve got the right manager to carry us forward and challenge next season. This summer will be his first real opportunity in the off-season to get his own players in and I’m sure he’s working hard on that now.”
Irwin believes, in Van Gaal, United have the right manager to get the club back to the top of the English game and that with a full summer in charge, our time is coming.