Van Gaal Is A Breath Of Fresh Air With His Honesty And Desire – Manchester United Opinion

Life is a roller-coaster ride. Even more so when you are the manager of a football club. The constant need for results means that even a good start to the season is sometimes not enough to save a manager from getting the boot when things turn sour.

Louis Van Gaal
Louis Van Gaal

From being hailed as a hero to being condemned as a harbinger of doom, there is no other job in the world where perceptions change so quickly. In fact, there is no other job in the world, which has such low job security and so much pressure on every single step that is taken.

When you take all of that into account, you can certainly see why managers are often indifferent to the media. When you are under pressure already, the last thing you need is for a journalist  with absolutely no experience of either playing or managing to say that you don’t know what you are doing.

Ever since his arrival at Old Trafford, Louis Van Gaal has been a breath of fresh air in the world of the Premier League management. On the back of a successful World Cup, which not many predicted would happen, the 63-year-old Dutchman has brought that elusive charm that is often missing from managers at press conferences.

Van Gaal has come at a crucial juncture in Manchester United’s history as they look to keep faith with tradition, while at the same time proving to be competitive enough on the pitch to get into the Champions League next season. A massive summer outlay was followed by disappointing results and instead of berating his players or blaming the officials, Van Gaal maintained that he couldn’t build an entire team overnight.

It is often difficult to get going right from day one, especially at a club like Manchester United, where nothing less than a win will do. The task is even harder if you are a manager like Van Gaal, who expects a lot out of his players. So, at the start of his reign, the Dutchman’s decision to ask the media for three months before judging him took everyone by surprise.

Managers are brought into get results immediately, so for a manager who only just guided his country to a third-place in the World Cup to ask for time was something that nobody saw him coming. But it was one that was necessary as the players, both old and new, needed time to adapt to his style of play and understand how he wants them to play. Injuries, especially in defense, have made that task a lot harder for him, but the team is finally starting to show signs of improvement.

Even at the start, when things weren’t going all his own way, Van Gaal was very honest and forthright  about his team’s performances. While managers resort to playing the blame game, the Dutchman has shown a touch of class in the way he has conducted himself, since his arrival at Old Trafford. His demeanor throughout the game is of a man who knows what he is doing and not of one, who is frantically trying to prove a point that his players don’t understand.

Whether it is a contentious red card, penalties that weren’t given or even the general performance of his team, Van Gaal has remained as cool as a cucumber, quite unlike the feisty and fiery demeanor that is often portrayed in the media.

Much was made about his decision to take off Paddy McNair after 33 minutes, in the game against Southampton and then mention the reason in the post-match interview. But his decision to bring the teenage center back on for the final few minutes of the side’s 3-0 victory over Liverpool showed that he is not only ruthless, but has a softer side as well.

Amidst all the constant tinkering of the players and the formations, one thing that has remained a constant throughout the season so far has been his honest interpretation of the game. Whether it is his dislike of praising individuals players after brilliant performances or the disappointment even after a 3-0 win, Van Gaal has remained steadfast and is a measure of restraint on the touchline.

In the age of the constant, arm-waving and frustrated manager who prowls the touchline and whines  at every bad decision, Van Gaal has been a welcome change with his honesty and his desire to concentrate on the football and nothing else. With the Red Devils starting to look up after their six-game winning run, it looks as though things are slowly starting to click into gear. And they have the calm and composed Dutchman to thank for that.

Comments are closed.