Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has complained about the number of fixtures played in England over the Christmas and New Year period.

United could play four matches in nine days between Boxing Day and 3 January, depending on the FA Cup draw.

They host Newcastle on Boxing Day, travel to Tottenham two days later before visiting Stoke on New Year’s Day. It’s a hectic schedule and would indeed be worthy of comment, were it not the same schedule that every other club in the Premier League will face.

“I have a wife, kids and grandchildren, and I cannot see them at Christmas,” complained Van Gaal.

“But I want to work in the Premier League, so I have to adapt, and I shall adapt,” he added.

“I am not happy – but I cannot change it – I don’t think it is good for the players.”

Well, certainly not if the same players feature in every minute of each game. But in an age of big clubs with big squads, this is not going to hapen and most players will get the opportunity to rest their weary limbs. Not least at Manchester United where the 2014 transfer outlay of £182,000million should ensure that Van Gaal is not short of cover for every eventuality.

Despite the busy festive period, Van Gaal still believes that United would benefit from being involved in European competition.

“You cannot say Chelsea are not used to playing in the Champions League and the Premier League, and League Cup and FA Cup,” he said.

“When you are challenged during the whole season you become better.”