Louis van Gaal thinks Manchester United’s preseason tour in the U.S. could jeopardize the club’s success in the English Premier League this season. United starts its tour on Wednesday night against the LA Galaxy at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena before traveling to Denver, Washington DC and Detroit. If United wins its group in the International Champions Cup, which includes Inter Milan, AS Roma and Real Madrid, then it would travel to Miami for the final --a total of 13,500 miles of travel.
In his first pre-game press conference on Tuesday, van Gaal made his annoyance known. Asked if United’s commercial commitments were impinging on his preparations for the season, the Dutchman said, "More or less, yes, because we have to prepare the season, and when you have a lot of commercial activities also for the players, and you have to travel distances, you have to fly a lot, you have also jet lag, and that is not very positive for a good preparation. But the tour was already arranged, so I have to adapt, I shall adapt."
As ESPN points out, United has been going on long-haul preseason tours for the past 10 years. Last summer the club racked up 23,000 miles traveling between Australia, Thailand, China and Japan.
Even so, van Gaal made it clear he would not accept such a draining tour as the current one next summer. "Manchester United shall do everything to adapt to my rules for good preparation," he said.