Louis van Gaal feels he has won over Manchester United players and fans
Louis van Gaal feels he has gained the support of the Manchester United fans and players after a rough start to the season. According to him, the players have endowed him with “highest credit”, and the fans have finally come around to see the working of his philosophy. United have done a brilliant job of getting back on track after their fairly bad start, and have lost only one of their previous 19 games.
Although the points table suggests a different story, the team have come under a lot of criticism for the lack of adventurous play. When the Dutchman was asked this, he admitted that the team was not yet playing at the level he wanted them to, but that there was a lot of room for improvement.
Despite their poor performances, Manchester United are third in the Premier League, just five points behind their neighbours Manchester City. They are also through to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, where they will take on Arsenal.
Majority of fans understand Van Gaal’s logic
A poll was carried out by Manchester Evening News, where fans were asked if they understood the direction the club was taking under the management of LVG. 80% of the fans said they understood the direction the club was taking.
When told about this, Van Gaal laughed and said “Over 80%? Unbelievable. In spite of your [the media’s] criticism, fantastic. Thank you. I can repeat it, more than 80%.”
The manager went on to praise the fans saying, “It is not also for the first time that the fans are amazing. When you see at Preston North End, in the second-half we are behind after two minutes, and the fans are supporting us until the end. That is not the first time, it happens every match that they are supporting in spite of being behind.”
When he was asked if he felt he was receiving the credit which he deserved, Van Gaal said, “The credit I get is from the players, the highest credit what I can get. That is the most important thing, that my players, my staff and myself can work together at the way we work now and that gives the spirit.”
Confidence was low at first, but it is back where it need to be: Van Gaal
Manchester United started their season with a loss at home against Swansea City, which Van Gaal said smashed the confidence gained by the team on the pre-season tour, when they beat some top level teams like Real Madrid, Liverpool and Serie A giants Inter Milan and Roma.
He felt that the team had the required confidence to see through the rest of the season with satisfactory performances. He also thought that the players, fans and staff were on the same page as him.
He said, “Now I think every player knows the philosophy of me and my staff. Everyone wants to follow that philosophy and you can see that in the team spirit of the team, which is unbelievable. I think that the confidence at this moment is the same as then because we had won everything in the United States against big clubs.”
“But that doesn’t say anything about the match because you have to play that match and we have seen that against Swansea City in the first match. I think only the difference is now the players know and have experience of playing in the system with my philosophy.”
Swansea will host Manchester United on Saturday, and the only thing on Van Gaal’s mind will be a victory. Swansea, on the other hand, are a team still trying to cope with the loss of their top goal-scorer Wilfried Bony, who joined Champions Manchester City in the January window.