Press Association “First I have to see how quickly the players can pick up my philosophy,” he said. “I haven’t worked with most of them and it is very important that there is a click between the players and the manager. “For me, the challenge is always first and not fourth.” Van Gaal arrived in Manchester on Wednesday only four days after guiding Holland to a third-placed finish at the World Cup. The former Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Ajax boss posed for pictures alongside assistant manager Ryan Giggs and executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward before being officially unveiled to the media on Thursday. Van Gaal’s principal concern after his first 24 hours in charge appears to be satisfying the commercial demands that will be placed upon him. On Friday he will fly out to the USA with the players who are not on a post-World Cup break for a pre-season tour comprising matches against the Los Angeles Galaxy, Roma, Inter Milan and Real Madrid. Van Gaal said: “It’s the biggest club of the world. In two days I know already how important Manchester United is. “I have to prepare a team and I have to adapt to this big club. I will do my utmost. It will not be easy, but when you see my career, you can see what I have won. The future will show if I can do that again. “I have met a lot of people and when you see that kind of people who love the club, it’s a big family. They expect a lot of me, they are very excited to meet me, but can I fulfil that expectation? “I think I can but because of the greatness of this club, it’s also much more difficult than at another club. “This club is also guided in the commercial way, and we have to fulfil that also, and it is not always possible to fulfil the commercial expectations and the football expectations. That is my big challenge I think.” Many pundits believe United’s squad needs a major overhaul after the disappointment of last season’s seventh-placed finish, which cost David Moyes his job after less than a year. They look especially short of authority at the back after the departures of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, with left-back Luke Shaw and midfielder Ander Herrera the only signings so far. A number of players are likely to be playing for their futures on the US tour, but Van Gaal insisted he would give all his current squad the chance to prove themselves. “My method is always the same,” he said. “I want to look at the players. In the first three or four weeks I want to see what they can do. “Maybe I shall buy other players. The players that we have bought now, Shaw and Herrera were already on the list, so I gave my approval because I like them. First I want to see the players performing my philosophy.” Another issue Van Gaal will take time over is deciding who will be his captain. Robin van Persie has been heavily linked with the role after wearing the armband for Holland, while Van Gaal also confirmed he wants to find backroom roles for Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes and Phil Neville. Almost exactly a year ago, Moyes was sat in the same room giving his vision of a future with United, but on Thursday his duties extended to watching the Open not far away at Hoylake. It was impossible not to note the contrast between the two men. Van Gaal insisted he is not the egotist he is often presented as but he was quick to put journalists in their place during a generally good-spirited 22 minutes. “I’m a democratic and empathetic human being,” he said. “Of course I have a strong personality but the other characteristics are more important. “The media wants to show (the autocratic) part of the personality but that part is (very small). When it is repeated always then everybody thinks like that. “Autocratic and a strong personality is not the same. I have a strong philosophy and every year I have trained it is confirming that philosophy. “Sir Alex (Ferguson) also has a strong philosophy and it was always confirmed because he won a lot of titles with Manchester United. I hope I can do that.” Moyes was never able to step out of the shadow of Ferguson, the Scot an ever more looming presence from the directors’ box as the season went on. That seems unlikely to be the case with Van Gaal, who said of his fellow managerial great: “He called me to congratulate me and we have talked. “We know each other very well and I will drink coffee and drink wine with him – maybe the best wine.” Louis van Gaal presented his Manchester United philosophy to the world and set his sights on the Barclays Premier League title. The Dutchman was greeted by a hail of flashbulbs as he made his public debut as United manager with a press conference at Old Trafford. Van Gaal appeared determined not to state too firm expectations for his first season but, asked whether simply making the Champions League would be adequate, he made it clear he is aiming for top spot.
It took 39 games, but the Wisconsin men’s hockey team finally reached a new record low.In a season filled with struggles, the Badgers came up empty-handed yet again, this time by way of a 2-0 defeat against Ohio State at the Kohl Center in the final regular season game of the year.The defeat pushed the Badgers to their 25th loss of the 2014-15 campaign, surpassing the 24 losses of the 1975-76 Badger squad, which was the previous high for most setbacks in one season.Wisconsin head coach Mike Eaves said he liked the effort of his players Saturday night, but that didn’t translate into the desired outcome.“There’s not one young man in that locker room that didn’t want to play really well tonight,” Eaves said. “But it just didn’t happen.”Not surprisingly as the third lowest scoring team in the nation, Wisconsin (4-25-5, 2-15-3-2 Big Ten) failed to find the back of the net and got shut out for the fifth time in the last seven games.But Ohio State (13-18-3, 8-11-1-1) couldn’t solve Joel Rumpel either, and the teams remained scoreless almost until the halfway point of the tilt. But before the teams reached that halfway mark, OSU struck for the only goal it needed. OSU’s David Gust slid a backhanded centering feed to the front of the net, and Tyler Lundey slammed the pack into a vacated net with Rumpel down and out to give the Buckeyes a 1-0 lead 8:54 into the second.Although that proved the pivotal score, Eaves said the turning point of the game came when UW’s Cameron Hughes sustained an upper body injury. Jedd Soleway had trouble getting into the bench after he had gotten hurt earlier in the sequence, and when Hughes skated by the bench with the puck, he got slammed hard into the open door. Hughes left the game with an undisclosed injury and did not return, although Soleway did return to the game.“I thought he broke his arm,” Eaves said. “The anguish in his face was pretty good and that just was typical of the night.”Already down a goal and one player, Wisconsin lost senior Matt Paape with less than five minutes to go in the second period when he took a five-minute major and a game misconduct for a check from behind.The Buckeyes couldn’t score on the subsequent extended man advantage, but the Wisconsin offense continued its own struggles after it got back to even strength.The Badgers managed just 17 total shots in the game, the sixth time this season they have failed to record at least 20. According to Eaves, Rumpel was the big reason Wisconsin managed to even stay in the game, as the senior stopped 32 of 34 shots in the final two periods in his last home game.Ohio State would tack on an insurance goal with a little less than 10 minutes to play when Matthew Weis zipped a shot past Rumpel from the left wing on a sharp angle.But despite yet another loss this year, Rumpel and the rest of the Badgers remained optimistic after the game, with their eye on the team they will meet in the first game of the Big Ten tournament next Thursday.“They better watch out,” Rumpel said.Wisconsin will take on third-seeded Michigan Thursday in Detroit in the first round of the conference tournament.Badgers salvage tie with Buckeyes Friday nightThe Wisconsin men’s hockey team played the second 30 minutes of Friday night’s game against Ohio State like there was no tomorrow after it was nowhere to be found in the first half of the series-opening contest.But after falling down a goal twice in game one of their last home stand of the season, the Badgers never quit against Ohio State, battling the Buckeyes to a 2-2 draw and a shootout that OSU won in the tenth round.Both teams got out to a slow start in the first period, especially the Badgers, who registered only six shots on goal in the first 20 minutes. Fortunately, Wisconsin goaltender Landon Peterson, who started in place of the usual starter Rumpel, played well to keep the game scoreless heading into the second.While the Badgers finished strong, Eaves was unhappy with how his team came out to start the game.“It becomes a balance act. For a period and a half, we were disappointed,” Eaves said. “We looked distracted. We didn’t look like we were ready to play in the first period.”Wisconsin senior captain Brad Navin agreed.“We had guys who didn’t show up until halfway through the game,” Navin said.The weekend was also Wisconsin’s senior weekend, which Eaves said may have distracted his team a bit at the start of the game.Wisconsin’s play improved in the second period, but that did not prevent the Buckeyes from taking the lead 13 minutes into the period. Lundey scored on a rebound to give the Buckeyes a one goal lead that they would take into the final period.Wisconsin seniors Navin and Peterson made their senior weekends memorable in the final period. Three minutes in, Navin connected on a power play goal to tie the game and snap Wisconsin’s 183-minute goal drought. After an Ohio State goal put the Buckeyes ahead again, Navin tied it up again for the Badgers with 3:57 to play, giving him a two-goal game. Peterson may have been the biggest hero of the night, making a brilliant save on an Ohio State breakaway that came with just more than a minute left in the game.After a scoreless overtime, Ohio State prevailed in a shootout that does not count toward the teams’ NCAA records, but gives the Buckeyes an extra point in the Big Ten standings.