In recent weeks, Manchester United have arranged an 8 day trip to China as part of their pre-season preparation for the 2016/17 Premier League season. It is known by many from his previous jobs, that Louis van Gaal is not a fan of pre-season in China and would rather opt to visiting other areas of the world in order to ensure a high level of training is provided in order to have a strong start to the season.
Tour 2015 was in the USA
In Manchester United's pre-season tour prior to the 2015/16 season, the club visited America, where they played four games over a two-week period in July, before returning home fit and ready for the start of the season. Louis van Gaal was very pleased with this tour and said it was 'good preparation' as it allowed them to 'train well' in a good climate for the players.
As a result of a good pre-season training, United where able to hit the ground running in the new season, by winning their first 2 games in the league against Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa, before then going on to win their Champions League qualifying tie against Club Brugge to set them up for a Champions League campaign. Everybody at the club seemed happy with the tour of 2015 as it not only set them up well for the season, but also allowed them to do well commerically as they travelled round the states seeing thousands of fans.
With the club deciding to visit China as part of their preparation for the 2016/17 season, Louis van Gaal has spoken negatively about the impact that the tour could have on the players and their fitness in order to trying to have a similar start to the season as previously in 2015. In an interview, Louis van Gaal originally revealed that the 'club wanted to go for a fortnight' however he 'managed to get it down to 8 days.'
When asked the reason for wanting to only go for a short amount of time, van Gaal claimed that the 'air quality' and 'humidity' isn't good for the preparation of the players, he then went on to talk about a trip he made to China during his playing career, saying 'I have played as a player in a tournament in Shanghai and we could not train.' due to the high amounbts of humidity. Van Gaal also says that due to the high humidity his players will struggle to train, 'I shall try to do some training but the humidity is so high that when I was there we could only do it at seven in the morning or nine in the evening.' Maybe not the ideal preparation that van Gaal was planning.
Van Gaal staying on for another year?
With all this talk from van Gaal about the upcoming pre-season tour of United, it has confused many fans who thought van Gaal was heading towards the door in the summer. So is van Gaal staying for next season? Does he not know the news of his departure yet? Only time will tell.