Manchester United cruised to a 4-0 victory this past weekend against Queens Park Rangers, but the club still has plenty of work to do off the pitch. Or, at least, the Spanish speakers do.
A bundle of United’s newcomers are going to have their hands full trying to learn a new language since manger Louis van Gaal has ordered them to participate in English lessons to better help communication on the training grounds and the pitch. Van Gaal, who can speak four languages, has vowed that they will all speak English by the 2015 season.
"Already, all the Spanish players have lessons in English," he said. "We have started two weeks [ago] and the language is English. I can speak Spanish, so it is better to communicate sometimes on the pitch in Spanish, but they shall learn English within one year, I promise."
United winger Antonio Valencia, who has lived in England for eight years, was also ordered to take English lessons, which will be one-on-on lessons.
Angel di Maria and Marcos Rojo apparently can't speak a lick of English and will take two beginner classes a week together. Meanwhile Radamel Falcao and Ander Herrera will join David de Gea in intermediate classes over the next couple of weeks.
We don’t blame any of the newcomers for their lack of knowledge in the English language. But, let's be honest, Antonio Valencia is a little surprising, since he has been playing in the EPL since 2006. It is said that Valencia is a shy player and has a rough past from his home in Ecuador, but it's still surprising that up until this point the team hasn't made an effort to help him improve his English skills given the importance of communication on the pitch.
Nevertheless, come 2015, we anticipate Manchester United press conferences to sound a little like the first 30 seconds of this clip: