Netherlands' World Cup third place-winning coach takes charge of Manchester United
Manchester: Louis van Gaal started a new era at Manchester United yesterday as the Dutch manager arrived for his first day in charge of the fallen giants.
Head coach Louis van Gaal during a training session with the Netherlands at the World Cup. Pic/Getty Images
Just days after securing the Netherlands' third place finish at the World Cup, van Gaal jetted into Manchester to begin the task of restoring United to their position as the Premier League's preeminent force.
The 62-year-old Dutchman was appointed as replacement for the sacked David Moyes two months ago, but his World Cup commitments meant he had to wait until now to officially take the reins at Old Trafford.
No holiday for van Gaal
Van Gaal faces a significant rebuilding job after United endured a miserable campaign under Alex Ferguson's hand-picked successor Moyes, finishing seventh in the Premier League and failing to qualify for the Champions League.
With much to do, van Gaal, back in club management for the first time since leaving Bayern Munich in 2011, was so keen to get down to business that he opted against taking a holiday after the World Cup.
The former Barcelona boss arrived in England on a private plane and was whisked from the airport to United's Carrington training ground in a Chevrolet car.
Van Gaal was welcomed by his new assistant, United legend Ryan Giggs, and the club's chief executive Ed Woodward, who gave the Dutchman a tour of the training ground after posing for pictures posted on the team's official Twitter feed.
Utd boss, City's colours
Dressed smartly in a blue suit, van Gaal may have raised a few eyebrows in Manchester for choosing a blue and white tie — the colours of arch rivals and Premier League champions Manchester City — rather than the red of United.
Van Gaal had already sent an advance party to Manchester ahead of his arrival and his assistant coaches Albert Stuivenberg and Marcel Bout took the first training session of the day along with Giggs before their manager's arrival.
Number of trophies Louis van Gaal has won at the four different clubs he has coached at — Ajax, Barcelona, AZ Alkmaar and Bayern Munich