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Van Gaal: "I’m not here for myself, I’m here for the club."

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Manchester United's coach has been talking to Manchester United's former rightback.

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Alex Livesey

It's Saturday, so big interviews are appearing in the English papers. And the biggest of them all involves Louis van Gaal, Manchester United's manager, being asked questions by Gary Neville, former United player now making his way a cub reporter.

Well, sort of. In fact, Van Gaal starts by asking Neville a question, which rather discomfits our intrepid young journo. But once they get into the normal rhythm of these things Van Gaal says a lot of encouraging things, along with a few cautious ones. It's a fascinating piece on a fascinating man, and you should read it all here, but below are a few of the lines tBB found most interesting ...

On how he intends to change things:

I have said we need time. We need time to build up a new team, and that cannot be in one day. It's a process, and the process is starting now. All my teams in the beginning were not good. They have to switch from instinctive to thinking. Brain. It's very difficult. I train in another way to the former coaches, and that's difficult.

On the why and the hows of the 3-5-2:

Because it's more easy to defend. ... When you play like that it's always less than 15 metres [between the three centre-backs], and then it's more easy to defend when you communicate good. ... [When] you play with three defenders, [the wing-backs] can always go. Both at the same time. That is a risk, but I am a risky coach. Then you have to switch the play. And you know that all the wide players are free.

And on why he got the job:

They have hired me for my philosophy. They have said that. I think I shall be supported. [I think] always long term, never short term. Because I'm not here for myself, I'm here for the club. ... When you want to develop your team you need always long-term decisions. In the first match it would have been better for me to play with [Robin] Van Persie. It's not good for Van Persie, because he has to be fit to play.

And, by way of a bonus, here's Neville's overall impression:

I left Carrington feeling that Van Gaal is, in fact, true to the traditions laid down by Sir Matt Busby and Sir Alex Ferguson. I'm not saying he will stay 25 years. But he holds to the same principles.

So that's nice. Go and read it.