Thursday 22 August 2019

'Mr Scholes will be very angry' - Louis van Gaal reignites war of words with Paul Scholes

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal

Tom Sheen

Louis van Gaal has continued his war of words with Manchester United legend Paul Scholes at the annual League Managers' Association (LMA) conference.

Former midfielder Scholes has been an outspoken critic of the Dutchman's tactics this season, previously stating that United play too slow and don't attack enough, lacking "creativity and risk".

But Van Gaal, who has won seven league titles in three countries, defended his style of play.

"We won everything with very attacking football. I don't say it too much because otherwise Mr Scholes will be very angry!' he laughed, referring to the brilliant Ajax team of the mid-1990s.

"We didn't have any money and we were bankrupt, so I had to look to youth. We scouted [Jari] Litmanen, a Finnish player, who we bought for £10,000. We also bought Finidi George. He was a Nigerian international. He was £3,000. I paid it by myself! And then, we bought Marc Overmars."

Van Gaal has also been accused of being a 'dictator' who is not fun to play under.

"I'm from a time where you did everything," the Ducthman said, defending his management style.

"Now I'm the manager and I have a sports science department, a scouting department, a medical department, assistant managers, assistant coaches.

"I don't do anything - nothing! I delegate. I delegate, and I earn a lot of money!

"Feedback is very important, of course. But I have to say that because when I don't, I'm arrogant!

"Sometimes I have a horrible time because I am too arrogant, I say things how they are. It's the most difficult way but you shall survive.

"I am also an innovator, and I have changed a lot in terms of preparing for games. I was the first coach who was with a notebook. Now everybody is with a notebook. I was the first coach who used video."

Van Gaal also sought to explain his infamous 'philosophy'.

"I'm into training the brain because football is not a sport of legs, it is a sport of brain, and tactics. So, that takes a lot of time.

"All the players have to sustain that process and that's not easy. Praise is better than to be negative, it is true. But, sometimes, I'm sorry, you have to be negative also."

Van Gaal also had a word of advice for younger managers.

"You have to be open, only for your fellow human being," he added. "But you have to be true to yourself as a human being and close to your principles because I think that authentic people, they shall always survive. And I think also that you touch people in the heart. As a leader, you have to touch people, and not superficially but now in the heart.

Independent News Service

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