Erik ten Hag has had a difficult start to life as Manchester United manager and a new explanation has emerged as to why that may be, courtesy of compatriot Louis van Gaal.

Former Red Devils boss Van Gaal himself has previously bemoaned the distance United's staff and the squad have to travel to meet business obligations

and complete the pre-season campaign. Two years later, he expressed the same concerns ahead of a pre-season trip to China,

declaring: "I know a club like Manchester United has to do it, but it's not a very good preparation."

Van Gaal managed to talk his superiors into shortening the journey from the original 14 days to eight. As for the Ten Hag, his United team jetted off to Thailand before moving on to Australia

and while he looked incredibly sharp, he may be feeling the physical toll as the competitive action gets underway.

It is important to note that several key players did not take part in the tour, with talismanic striker Cristiano Ronaldo choosing not to travel

and citing family reasons as an explanation for his absence. New signings Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez also failed to connect with their new teammates.