Pitchside

Five changes Louis van Gaal has already made at United

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Louis van Gaal may have only started work as Manchester United manager two weeks ago, but he has already made his mark on the club.

Here, Press Association Sport's Paul Hirst lists the changes the new United boss has implemented since taking over at Old Trafford, and we have analysed all five.

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CAMERAS - High-definition cameras have been installed at United's training ground at a huge cost of £500,000 and they have also been evident on the pre-season tour of America to track the players in training.

Our view: Click here for more details on this. Jonny Evans admitted in an interview that the general philosophy at the club with regards to such microanalysis was that "as long as we got the results, everything was alright". He also suggested that studying videos was something David Moyes encouraged, albeit never to the degree van Gaal has planned. You suspect common derogatory terms associated with Ferguson's decorated United reign such as 'complacent' and 'arrogant' may be vanquished forever, with LVG on watch at all times.

LANGUAGE - Twelve different nationalities are represented in Van Gaal's squad, but they have been told to speak English to each other. Van Gaal himself is fluent in English, Spanish, German and Dutch.

Our view: It is a) very encouraging to see LVG setting clear protocol for something so vital as communication, and b) worrying that someone has had to put it into place when it should be a constant. English being the language all players must know is of course the logical choice, not just because most clubs across the globe prioritise the native tongue but it automatically sets up an easy way to see if a foreign target really wants to join, if they are swotting up on English even during negotiations.

TABLES - Van Gaal sees meal times as a good time for squad bonding, so he has replaced rectangular tables with circular ones to encourage interaction.

Our view:This ties in nicely to the above change on the communications front. It is, of course, of utmost importance that there is harmony at a club as big as Manchester United, where egos can very easily derail plans and perhaps last season did just that. Making such a tweak also shows van Gaal's attention to detail. This isn't quite as obvious as having everyone prioritise the same language.

MEETINGS - Each night at 10:30pm, Van Gaal sits down with his coaches and senior staff to discuss player progress and plans for the following day.

Our view: This 'change' again makes you wonder how things were at United last season. We come to take for granted regular briefings between a manager and their staff, but at least going forward fans of the club can be very encouraged that LVG is on the ball. This also offers some insight into just how long their working day will often be. It's very Sir Alex Ferguson-esque...

NEW PITCHES - Desso training pitches have been laid at Carrington and new trees have been planted to protect them from wind - a problem raised by Van Gaal in his first interview as United manager.

Our view: This may strike many of us as a trifling issue, but a manager as experienced as van Gaal took an immediate dislike to how exposed to the conditions the players were at United. For those painting him as a taskmaster, this suggests he actually has both sides of the job covered - whether it protecting his players to the hilt as Arsene Wenger famously does better than almost anyone else, or coming down hard on any individuals who may disrupt the team, as Fergie and his 'hairdryer' approach did for years at United.

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What do you make of these five early changes? Which one do you feel is the most telling/vital? What will van Gaal set about improving next, after all of these? Let us know in the comments section below...

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