Guardian Interview - Louis van Gaal: ‘I thought Manchester United could buy every player'

Suedesi

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I reread this interview again, in light of troubles and the following passages resonated:

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2019/jun/03/louis-van-gaal-manchester-united--interview-buy-players-rooney-tactics-solskjaer


What is the problem at Manchester United now?


The problem begins with, of course, that Manchester United was never refreshed. I think when you are a manager you have to refresh every year to keep the team-building process going.

You brought in players. You tried to refresh.

Yes, but I didn’t always get the players that I want. That’s the problem. There is Woodward and his right hand is [head of corporate development] Matt Judge. Judge I met once in a while but not too much. And there was the head of scouting. That was the structure but you are always dependent on Woodward and Judge.

Did they not take your advice?

I thought always Manchester United can buy every player because they have a lot of power. Seemingly a few players were not reachable for Manchester United. I cannot understand but it was like that

Ángel Di María, was he your choice?

Di María was my choice at AZ, seven years before.

He didn’t sign then. Did you want him for United? Were you happy that he came?

I was satisfied, because he was a creative player, but I had other players on the list. Di María had a problem with the English football culture and the climate. You cannot buy players and know, for sure, that they can deliver. You cannot know because football is a team sport.

Do you have any regrets about your time with Manchester United?

No. The way they sacked me was terrible. But I like my time in England, because of the culture, because of the people. A lot of humour and always supporting the manager. I have respect for everybody I worked with.

You said you don’t understand why United have a lot of money and won’t always pay for players. Is that because the Glazers didn’t want to pay?

I don’t know. Woodward is the one who talks with the Glazers. I only talked with the Glazers when they were [attending] a game or training session. Mostly they attend top matches and fortunately we won a lot of these top matches, in any case against Liverpool.

What does it take to be a perfect technical director or director of football?

First of all you need knowledge of the game, methods of training, preparation experience, youth education, scouting and you have to think in structures. So you need a lot of experience in the football world. When you are in your profession as a technical director, you have developed a name, then you have a big network and you can always make use of that network.

One person United are interested in to become technical director is Rio Ferdinand. What do you think about this? He was a good player, obviously.

As a good player, you’re not a good manager or you’re not a good technical director. It’s more or less what is happening now with [Ole Gunnar] Solskjær, ex-players, old boys’ network. It’s not always a good choice. It can be but it’s not always a good choice.

Were you surprised that Solskjær was given the job permanently?

I was very surprised he got it in spite of the winning run at the start.

Why?

Because Manchester United is one of the biggest clubs in the world that needs a manager with experience and not a manager who has trained at one or two teams and on a lower level.

If you had a blank canvas, how long would it take to sort United out?

The trouble is that you cannot demand so much time. And the fans do not allow that. Also with Solskjær, they shall demand in spite of him being an ex-player. In the football world you have to deliver. However as an ex-player you always have more credit.

Is it almost impossible then to succeed at these big clubs, at United? I remember your first press conference, you basically said ‘it’s too much commercial, this club’.

I’m happy that you remember that. I think you have to change the structure in the organisation of Manchester United because now I think the balance between the football department and commercial department is not right and even slopes over to the commercial.

What do you mean by that?

What I have experienced is that I must go to the USA before the season and we have to play a lot of matches in a short time. That is a good commercial preparation but not the best for me as a football manager. Everybody was happy except me, because in the USA we won everything, but the first match in the league was a loss: Swansea. That is because every player was exhausted. When you have to start like that, that’s not good.

In scouting players, Manchester United don’t have the organisation to deliver the best players in my opinion. Then with the education of players, you cannot say that the education of Manchester United is very good. How many players are coming through?

With Manchester United, you have a fantastic performance department and that is under the guidance of the doctor. But this performance department needs also the guidance of an experienced technical director. You have to use that department not only for the first team but also intensively for the youth education. Then young players are more educated in the philosophy of Man United and the big step to the first team is much easier. These are the important aspects that you have to develop as a technical director.

I saw as Manchester United manager that the quality of the players of City, Tottenham, Chelsea, Arsenal was better. So what can I do? We were attacking. We were not defending and we were looking for tactical solutions adapted to the level of our players. For example we were provoking space and that was new in England. I think six months ago [Jürgen] Klopp has also seen the light because in former days he was always pressing.
 
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red thru&thru

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Thanks for this bump. Even more relevant today. Ed, Glazer's, you f**ked up a great club! This is on you!
 

red thru&thru

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Depressing.
Truly but can still be fixed. We need to start making ourselves heard and I'm so grateful to our away fans on starting to turn against the Glazer's. Thank you!
 

red thru&thru

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The club should be sold. My opinion. New owners and structure.
Glazer's are truly thick. Just get in the correct people to run the football and let the rest follow. How are they so oblivious to these decisions? What is their motive? We need to know more or get them out
 

momo83

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Best coach and developer of players we’ve had since SAF. Gets an unfair rep for being defensive, when really his just a more pragmatic version of Pep. After Leicester he realised we couldn’t score 2 and concede more every game so he adapted. In second season his one and only attacking fullback got injured and AFTER that our football appeared boring because we had no attacking fullbacks and no creative players.

Look at how he played academy players like McNair, Blackett, and few others and made them look much better then time has proven them to be. Where are those future world beaters today anyways?

Also Martial’s best season was an 18 year old was with him as coach. If he stayed and had the balls to get rid of Rooney I’m certain Martial and Rashford today would be much better. If he was given the money to buy the right fullbacks and creative players the football would be as close to City as it gets.
 

dev1l

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LVG is best with young players he ll develop over time. He is a long term projects but fans aren't so patient.
 

mu4c_20le

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I'm probably one of the few who still likes him. Brutally honest, stuck to his philosophy, let down by poor recruitment.
 

red thru&thru

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Best coach and developer of players we’ve had since SAF. Gets an unfair rep for being defensive, when really his just a more pragmatic version of Pep. After Leicester he realised we couldn’t score 2 and concede more every game so he adapted. In second season his one and only attacking fullback got injured and AFTER that our football appeared boring because we had no attacking fullbacks and no creative players.

Look at how he played academy players like McNair, Blackett, and few others and made them look much better then time has proven them to be. Where are those future world beaters today anyways?

Also Martial’s best season was an 18 year old was with him as coach. If he stayed and had the balls to get rid of Rooney I’m certain Martial and Rashford today would be much better. If he was given the money to buy the right fullbacks and creative players the football would be as close to City as it gets.
We should have built on lvg' platform, not rip it up. But what will NEVER be forgotten is the way we dismantled the scousers at Anfield. It was the BEST ever performance, in my life time , against Lfc at Anfield.
 

JJ12

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I'm probably one of the few who still likes him. Brutally honest, stuck to his philosophy, let down by poor recruitment.
I think as time goes on a lot of us have started to appreciate him more.
 

Bwuk

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I loved LvG but thought it was the right decision in getting rid.

I think I was wrong. Despite all the £ we’ve spent since he left - have we actually improved? I’d say no, and Rashford/Martial have went backwards.
 

Judge Red

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Of the four managers, he's the one that should have worked and the best character. His failure is the biggest worry. Mourinho had his routine meltdown and the other two were/are shit.
 

Man of Leisure

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Really did nail it didn’t? Miss the blokes passion, and tactical know how, even if the football he delivered sent me to actual sleep.
I'd take him back in a heartbeat. While it may have been boring as shite, at least you could see he had a plan and was trying to build something. LBG is a leader, and we need a manager to lead atm.
 

Hugh Jass

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Still think he was the best of a bad bunch.

Bad signings though and suffered bad injuries.
 

fergiesarmy1

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Moyes - If you could have your time over again would you change anything? “no”

LVG - any regrets? “no”

:rolleyes:
 

Casanova85

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Of the four managers, he's the one that should have worked and the best character. His failure is the biggest worry. Mourinho had his routine meltdown and the other two were/are shit.
Pretty much. But that doesn't mean we need him back (not that you meant that). LVG is hopeless next to the likes of Pep or Klopp.
Perhaps to save the season (Top3-6), but just as interim.
 

ThierryHenry14

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I'd take him back in a heartbeat. While it may have been boring as shite, at least you could see he had a plan and was trying to build something. LBG is a leader, and we need a manager to lead atm.
it is because "we were looking for tactical solutions adapted to the level of our players." Even Pep needs the right players to play with his systems, that's why he bought 2x50M full backs back in 2017.
 

JPB

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I would take him back tomorrow.
Louis Van Gaal's Red Army!
 

Cassidy

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Pretty much. But that doesn't mean we need him back (not that you meant that). LVG is hopeless next to the likes of Pep or Klopp.
Perhaps to save the season (Top3-6), but just as interim.
Any United manager will be. Pep and Klopp would also be hopeless at United due to the recruitment
 

ThierryHenry14

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it is because "we were looking for tactical solutions adapted to the level of our players." Even Pep needs the right players to play with his systems, that's why he bought 2x50M full backs back in 2017.
In Pep's second season after he realized the players he had couldn't play in his system, he refreshed almost half of the team in the summer of 2017 alone. All these players cost over 50M.
Ederson - GK
Laporte-CB
Mendy, Walker, Danilo - FB
Bernardo Silva - RW
 

youmeletsfly

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He was always a very smart guy and took things in football to a different level in all departments, from scouting to teaching.

It saddens me that it didn't work out for him because I really like the guy, he seems so dedicated to his work and I think he's the only one that really understood what the feck is wrong with this club.

I would have liked him to continue for 2-3 years even if the football at that moment was not that good. Even if it would've meant us finishing 5th for 3 seasons in a row it really wouldn't have bothered me.

It would be miles better to finish 5/6th and work on the club's structure than finish 2nd/3rd and still be shit in all the club's departments.
 

Acole9

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I'm probably one of the few who still likes him. Brutally honest, stuck to his philosophy, let down by poor recruitment.
I liked him as well, I think I was one of the only people on the forum who would've been happy to let see the final year of his contract out.
 

red thru&thru

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I personally liked lvg, but I wanted him gone. I still appreciate the guy today. But Ed should have gone with Poch or someone similar to build on Lvg's philosophy/team. Instead, he chose the wrong man in Jose. I said right from the outset that I didn't want Jose.
 

Adam-Utd

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I loved LvG but thought it was the right decision in getting rid.

I think I was wrong. Despite all the £ we’ve spent since he left - have we actually improved? I’d say no, and Rashford/Martial have went backwards.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing but we all thought Jose would be the Chelsea Jose.

the first year did indeed look better but it soon unraveled.

unfortunately for LVG the early damage was done, but realistically the team wasn’t anywhere near good enough.

only once martial and rashford came into the side did we start looking a better team. If only di Maria stuck around longer he would have had a much better time with those.
 

Woodzy

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The way we sacked him was a disgrace.

Always liked him. Some of his interviews over that rough Christmas period (where he should have actually been sacked to be fair) made me genuinely sad. The guy looked like he was going to break down and cry.
 

JPB

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He was the first to play 3 at the back in the Premier League. I remember everyone saying it would never work in the Premier League. All of a sudden literally every team was playing it. Then Conte won the league with 3 at the back. Then England reached the semi finals of the world cup with it.
 

SteveJ

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It still annoys me that some of our players laughed off Louis' tactical instructions which he sent them. This suggests that they don't want success enough, and don't take their careers seriously enough. As soon as he's dismissed as a 'fussy old man', it becomes easy to be lazy in thought and deed.
 

Jed I. Knight

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I'm probably one of the few who still likes him. Brutally honest, stuck to his philosophy, let down by poor recruitment.
Nah, he’s the most interesting and entertaining character we’ve had in charge after Fergie. I think most fans liked him, even if his brand of football here put us to sleep.

Good to see him come out and highlight the obvious deficiencies in how the club is being run. It’s still hard to see how we can advance in the right direction under this current regime, regardless of who we get to fill the managerial post.
 

Cliche Guevara

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He was the first to play 3 at the back in the Premier League. I remember everyone saying it would never work in the Premier League. All of a sudden literally every team was playing it. Then Conte won the league with 3 at the back. Then England reached the semi finals of the world cup with it.
What???
 

VorZakone

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It still annoys me that some of our players laughed off Louis' tactical instructions which he sent them. This suggests that they don't want success enough, and don't take their careers seriously enough. As soon as he's dismissed as a 'fussy old man', it becomes easy to be lazy in thought and deed.
They laughed off his instructions? How disrespectful. He had just reached 3rd place in the WC with a Dutch team that wasn't special on paper.
 

fergiesarmy1

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They laughed off his instructions? How disrespectful. He had just reached 3rd place in the WC with a Dutch team that wasn't special on paper.
That’s the squad we are left with mostly, they ignored his emails after a while.

I do with my boss though to be fair :lol:
 

Dolf

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So many here didn't realise how bad our structure was when we fired LvG. I think many still believed in the "we only need the get the manager right and we'll be back on top in no time". LvG got the best out of his players and tried to build something but there just wasn't enough time. That's the difference between top top managers like Louis van Gaal and Mourinho and inexperienced managers like Ole, even with a (below) average squad they managed to be good enough to beat Liverpool, make CL or finish second. With Ole we end up 2 points above relegation.
 

Dolf

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It still annoys me that some of our players laughed off Louis' tactical instructions which he sent them. This suggests that they don't want success enough, and don't take their careers seriously enough. As soon as he's dismissed as a 'fussy old man', it becomes easy to be lazy in thought and deed.
They laughed off his instructions? How disrespectful. He had just reached 3rd place in the WC with a Dutch team that wasn't special on paper.
Yeah this is true. He put a tracker on his emails so he could see who read them and apparently some players couldn't even be bothered to open them.
 

VorZakone

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Yeah this is true. He put a tracker on his emails so he could see who read them and apparently some players couldn't even be bothered to open them.
I find this both funny and sad.
 

Sir Scott McToMinay

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He was the first to play 3 at the back in the Premier League. I remember everyone saying it would never work in the Premier League. All of a sudden literally every team was playing it. Then Conte won the league with 3 at the back. Then England reached the semi finals of the world cup with it.
Plenty of PL teams played with 3 at the back in the 90’s...