While many in England have been charmed by the open and charismatic ways of Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal, his critics are apparently lining up to take a pot shot on a periodical basis.
The latest to air his disdain for the man is Bayern Munchen star Franck Ribery, who was coached by Van Gaal between 2009 and 2011 in a highly successful period for the club.
In an interview with Goal.com Ribery says that, while the tactical nous of Van Gaal was unquestionable, the pair didn’t connect on a personal level.
“We had problems on a human basis. When he started, nobody knew what was going to happen,”
He went on to say that:
“The first contact with him was already poisoned. As a professional you lose your trust. He does great things on the pitch but the coach Van Gaal was a bad man. Our relationship was crushed.”
We are sure that players like Wayne Rooney, who have seemed at their happiest for years, would dispute the claims and Van Gaal seems to be very strong in his personal relations with the players. Indeed, form what we have seen, it look like one of his main strengths – to inspire and coax the best out of his players.
But he clearly gives no extra slack to high profile players, as seen in his treatment of Radamel Falcao and Angel di Maria this season, and it didn’t please the Frenchman.
In a particularly illuminating part of the interview Ribery says:
“His idea was that he did not care about names at all, you don’t need stars, everybody had to prove themselves again.
What works for one doesn’t necessarily work for another and Louis van Gaal’s track record shows that he has got it right more often than not.
Manchester United fans: do you think that Van Gaal’s personality could prove problematic in the long run?