Pasadena: Louis van Gaal heralded Manchester United’s “beautiful performance” after beginning his reign as manager with a remarkable 7-0 victory against LA Galaxy in Pasadena.
In front of a crowd of almost 87,000 at the venue for the 1994 World Cup final, United began the process of rebuilding following last season’s woeful campaign with Wayne Rooney, Ashley Young and youngster Reece James all scoring twice.
And after watching his new team cruise to victory, Van Gaal insisted that the result will be crucial to boosting confidence among his squad.
“The result always matters,” Van Gaal said. “With such a result you get confidence and confidence in a new system.
“We introduced a new system after playing two times on the training pitch, 11 versus 11. It is not so much time, but the boys are willing to pick up the information. They have adapted to the new system.
“It is fantastic how they have performed today. Last week, 10 players who played tonight were not even in our training complex.
“But when you see us train, you can expect something but not 7-0. It was a surprise, but they were also beautiful goals.
“It was not just the goals, but the beautiful attacks.”
United’s performance was enlightened by Spanish midfielder Ander Herrera, making his debut following a £29 million summer arrival from Athletic Bilbao.
Although Herrera contributed to five of United’s goals, Van Gaal maintained his policy of refusing to discuss individuals, preferring instead to focus on the way his team adapted to the three-man defensive system he deployed.
“When I see my team playing a new system, it is better to win 7-0 than to lose because the players will then doubt the system,” Van Gaal said. “But now I don’t have that problem.
“When you want to change a system, you must start at once. We don't have time to prepare for other things.
“The other system they can play is 4-3-3 and they have played it for many years, so I can change back if the system doesn't work.