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

Shobbster

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The squad was really dire. Still is...
No Manager alive can win anything with this squad, baring the great SAF. (Even that is questionable given the lack of big characters)
If LVG and Jose failed, trust me appointing another manager will not be the solution.
Change the structure. Simple!
 

Jaqen H'ghar

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Interesting read, I missed it before, so thanks for the bump @Suedesi. A bit depressing too. Sheds a light at how deep the problems and dysfunctional the structure of the club is.
 

JPB

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Plenty of PL teams played with 3 at the back in the 90’s...
Every week, every single team played 4-4-2.
There might have been the odd occasion which I don't know of. But in the 90's they all played 4-4-2, until Jose came and brought the 4-3-3.

Van Gaal was the first to properly implement the 3 at the back in the Premier League, after his success with it at the 2014 world cup.

Do you deny that all the pundits kept giving him shit for it and that it would never work in the Premier League? And then soon after Conte won the league with it. Every other team was also using it.

You must be one of them that gave him shit for it.
 

Sir Scott McToMinay

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Every week, every single team played 4-4-2.
There might have been the odd occasion which I don't know of. But in the 90's they all played 4-4-2, until Jose came and brought the 4-3-3.

Van Gaal was the first to properly implement the 3 at the back in the Premier League, after his success with it at the 2014 world cup.
Do you deny that all the pundits kept giving him shit for it and that it would never work in the Premier League? And then soon after Conte won the league with it. Every other team was also using it.

You must be one of them that gave him shit for it.
What are you talking about? Van Gaal didn’t play 3 at the back “every week”, England used to play 3 at the back under Hoddle, Liverpool played 3 at the back at times in the 90’s, Spurs played A LOT of 3 at the back when they’ve had Ziege on the left.
Stop making stuff up, Van Gaal’s 3 at the back system worked away to Arsenal once and that’s about that, we started his first season playing it and we were horrendous, as bad as we are now.

The only thing Van Gaal “brought” to the PL was a highly conservative and impotent possession style and the most boring football ever seen of this side of the atlantic.
 

2cents

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Every week, every single team played 4-4-2.
There might have been the odd occasion which I don't know of. But in the 90's they all played 4-4-2, until Jose came and brought the 4-3-3.

Van Gaal was the first to properly implement the 3 at the back in the Premier League, after his success with it at the 2014 world cup.

Do you deny that all the pundits kept giving him shit for it and that it would never work in the Premier League? And then soon after Conte won the league with it. Every other team was also using it.

You must be one of them that gave him shit for it.
Roy Evans played with three at the back throughout the 90s. Chelsea under Vialli and Gullit did on occasion too. I’m sure there were others.
 

JPB

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What are you talking about? Van Gaal didn’t play 3 at the back “every week”, England used to play 3 at the back under Hoddle, Liverpool played 3 at the back at times in the 90’s, Spurs played A LOT of 3 at the back when they’ve had Ziege on the left.
Stop making stuff up, Van Gaal’s 3 at the back system worked away to Arsenal once and that’s about that, we started his first season playing it and we were horrendous, as bad as we are now.

The only thing Van Gaal “brought” to the PL was a highly conservative and impotent possession style and the most boring football ever seen of this side of the atlantic.
Maybe so, my point still stands. It wasn't the norm. Louis made it the norm. Every pundit was slagging him off for it. A season or two later 3 at the back won the league and every other team started using it.
 

MikeUpNorth

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Roy Evans played with three at the back throughout the 90s. Chelsea under Vialli and Gullit did on occasion too. I’m sure there were others.
Indeed. Liverpool played 3 at the back in the 1996 FA Cup final against us, for a concrete example.
 

Nucks

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Not convinced they couldn’t have got similar results by actually playing some football and giving us something to watch. It’s not like we played it safe so well every time. We were often hanging on for dear life.
Maybe, but they did "ok" by current standards, and the team has been dire since Fergie retired, even the squad he left Moyes was rapidly aging into decline. Mourinho managed to finagle a 2nd place, and LVG to 4th. It's easy to say they had to go, but, at some point you need to bring in a world class manager, hand over the reins, support them fully, and then step back.

Would Mourinho have self destructed had he been given the full financial backing to keep buying players until he found the right fit? Maybe, maybe not. We don't know. Would LVG eventually been able to bring in the world class players to fit into his system to make it hum like the Netherlands did at the world cup? Probably.

I feel like fans are holding managers to impossible standards. No manager has a 100% success rate on players. None. We're also often comparing our managers, to managers who are in completely different positions. United is in triage, and has been in triage since Fergie retired with a team of soon to be retirees. Triage purchases are different than what Klopp or Pep have been doing. The foundation of Uniteds squad is rotten. LVG and Mourinho brought in a lot of guys clearly as bandaid fixes. They needed someone, so they got what they could get from what was available. Things needed to be stabilized before incremental improvements could be made. We've also snapped up world class players whenever we could, and for one reason or another, most, I'd argue all, have failed to live up to their potential for one reason or another, be it over the hill, or some other reason.
 

Shamana

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The squad was really dire. Still is...
No Manager alive can win anything with this squad, baring the great SAF. (Even that is questionable given the lack of big characters)
If LVG and Jose failed, trust me appointing another manager will not be the solution.
Change the structure. Simple!
Even Saf would no chance of winning the League with this squad.
 

Big Ben Foster

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Sometimes I wonder how LVG's second season would've gone if we had signed an established striker that summer. Martial and Rashford did well when they played but ultimately his over-reliance on a past-it Wayne Rooney was his downfall.
 

2cents

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Sometimes I wonder how LVG's second season would've gone if we had signed an established striker that summer. Martial and Rashford did well when they played but ultimately his over-reliance on a past-it Wayne Rooney was his downfall.
It didn’t help being stuck with Depay, Schneiderlin and Schweinsteiger.
 

RooneyLegend

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Yet another manager who didnt understand how the club was run. It was his job to get the recruitment right. We obviously couldn't sign anyone but we did sign alot of players on his list as we have with all these failures.
 

ReddBalls

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Sometimes I wonder how LVG's second season would've gone if we had signed an established striker that summer. Martial and Rashford did well when they played but ultimately his over-reliance on a past-it Wayne Rooney was his downfall.
I don't think the reliance on Rooney was his choice. Given the size of the contract Rooney had signed and him being Uniteds star player with a huge fan following, I think the commercial minded people at the top insisted on it.
 

fergiesarmy1

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I don't think the reliance on Rooney was his choice. Given the size of the contract Rooney had signed and him being Uniteds star player with a huge fan following, I think the commercial minded people at the top insisted on it.
Plus I shall always my captain.

He was a dinosaur and the fact he retired afterwards confirms it regardless what he said.
 

ReddBalls

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Plus I shall always my captain.

He was a dinosaur and the fact he retired afterwards confirms it regardless what he said.
Well, regarding Rooney, LVG states he made him captain because he was unprofessional outside the pitch and training, and he hoped that the responsibility of captaincy would steer him in the right direction. Rooney obviously has had a drinking problem all his adult life, from grannyshagging to being arrested three times the last year for drinking. https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/football/8145057/wayne-rooney-arrest-drunk-danny-murphy/ (yeah, I know, The Sun. But they're not exactly alone in writing about his drinking). It seems it escalated after Fergie called it a day, and would explain the drop in form from 2012 and onwards.

As I said, I think old Louis tried to make the best of it, having to play the star player, the one who sold shirts and was the face of the team. That doesn't mean LVG didn't have his faults.