Friday 19 January 2018

Louis van Gaal: Senior players came to me concerned over 'flat' dressing room

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal Action Images via Reuters / John Sibley
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal Action Images via Reuters / John Sibley

Paul Hirst

Louis van Gaal admits Wayne Rooney and Michael Carrick approached him earlier this season because they were worried the atmosphere in the Manchester United dressing room was "flat".

Reports this week suggested some United players were unhappy with Van Gaal's methods. The United manager denied his relationship with his players was poor.

But he did concede United's captain and vice-captain aired their worries with him.

Van Gaal said: "Rooney and Michael Carrick came to me and said: 'The dressing room is flat'."

Van Gaal welcomed the feedback from his players and insisted he has a good relationship with them.

He said: "I think I have a superb relationship with my players. Maybe you have to consider how many players are coming to the manager to say something.

"In my career as a manager, I didn't have so many who come to say something about the atmosphere in the dressing room or the way we train, or something like that.

"But it is very positive that they are coming to you and that they trust you."

Van Gaal seemed irked that the dialogue between him and his players had been viewed as a mutiny.

To emphasise his point, he raised his voice in the press conference, mimicking the song the fans sing about him.

He added: "The fans are shouting every week 'Louis van Gaal's army! Louis van Gaal's army!'. They are very satisfied with Louis van Gaal and the players are also satisfied with me."

With the number of incomings and outgoings at the club this summer, Van Gaal always felt there would be a couple of bumps in the road when it came to his players adapting to his management style.

"I can say only that I have a very good relationship with my players, but it is logical now that only nine are left from the initial group," the former Barcelona manager said.

"The others I have bought will not say I am a lousy manager."

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