Manchester United have won their first piece of silverware under Louis van Gaal, but to the Dutchman it means ‘nothing’.
The Red Devils launched a second-half comeback against their arch-rivals Liverpool to win the 2014 International Champions Cup final 3-1 at the Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.
While to many United fans, this is a sign of bigger and better things to come for the Manchester outfit, to Van Gaal, winning a pre-season tournament does not hold any significance.
‘Nothing’, the 62-year-old told reporters when asked what it means to win the International Champions Cup. ‘It’s nice for the fans in the United States and also at home that we beat Liverpool... And of course, it is better to win in preparation time than to lose’.
Van Gaal is spot-on about the significance of winning the tournament in the USA. It was just a pre-season friendly competition and will not count as major honours.
Pre-season friendly matches and tournaments help clubs to freshen up their players and build up fitness for the new campaign. Even a heavy loss, such as the one Chelsea suffered against Werder Bremen at the weekend, hard means anything.
Wayne Rooney may have performed brilliantly for United in the USA, but that will be quickly forgotten if he fails to hit top form when the Premier League campaign kicks off.
However, having a good pre-season is important for players to increase their confidence. For example, Rooney had yet another disappointing World Cup campaign with England, but his goals and displays in the USA will certainly have helped him regain his self-conviction.
Yet, it would be unwise to read too much into the results of pre-season friendly matches. After all, these are just warm-up games: the real test begins in just under two weeks’ time.
How important is Manchester United’s 2014 International Champions Cup success?