Louis van Gaal hopes Angel Di Maria will stay despite disappointing first season
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal hopes Angel Di Maria will improve next season. He also blamed United's extended pre-season tour for their poor start to the season.
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has said that record signing Angel Di Maria will decide whether he wants to stay at the club. He also said that both the club and he expected Di Maria to stay and get back to form at the Old Trafford outfit.
The Argentine international has had a stop-start season, as he has had to watch from the bench for the last few matches, there was an attempted burglary attempt at his house, and he was red-carded in an FA Cup match against Arsenal, leading to his current spell on the bench.
Speaking ahead of United’s match against West Bromwich Albion, the United manager addressed the Argentinean winger’s future, saying, “He cannot say that he has had a marvellous season here. The decision is not only to him because now we have a contract, so we shall speak always with every player, evaluation, as I always do. Then we speak with each other about the future, and that is with every player.”
He added, “The manager and the club is always dependable on the opinion of the player himself. The player decides; we shall see what he decides.”
When asked if Di Maria’s involvement in the 2014 World Cup had any role in his loss of form and if he can kick on next season, Van Gaal said, “I hope. You cannot always say that is the main factor. Of course, it plays a role, and I hope it is that because then we can have a fantastic season next season. You have to adapt to our philosophy and that is also difficult for him, probably. Normally he shall have a fantastic season, I believe in that.”
The Red Devils’ manager also said that he is basing all his plans on Di Maria being available next season. “I am pleased with his attitude, so that is not a problem. I think Di María shall stay and he is working very hard.”
“A player has to contribute. What we expected, as a team and as a staff, from each other. Normally Di María should have played but the last weeks he doesn’t play any more and the team is winning. Now we are losing, so the chance of him coming back is higher; it is always like that. The issue that he is not always in the line-up is also for him a disappointment, but for me a disappointment.”
“Pre-season tour cost us in title race”
Louis van Gaal was not very happy with United’s long-drawn tour of the United States last summer and believes that it had a role in their slow start to the season. When asked what was key to a good start next season, he said, “We need balance in our selection. I have said this many times. I cannot deny that we need balance. I think also the preparation of our season, Manchester United has already adapted to a better preparation.”
“We shall have two bases in the US so we are not flying between matches, we are going via bus which is better. They have adapted to my criteria so we shall have a better preparation. We have started very badly this year. When you cut out the start we shall equal Chelsea but we have to start better.”
“When I previewed our preparation now it looks better but we have to see of course. Then we have to make the balance in our selection better and then we have to perform better than this year.”