Belfast Telegraph

Van Gaal: Touchline rants pointless

Louis van Gaal believes other Barclays Premier League managers are wasting their time by shouting and bawling at their players from the touchline.

Unlike his contemporaries - and one of his most famous predecessors, Sir Alex Ferguson - the Manchester United boss prefers to relay messages to his players through his assistant Ryan Giggs, who can regularly be seen on the edge of the technical area at Old Trafford.

Not once has Van Gaal appeared on the touchline, home or away, this season.

That has come as something of a surprise to United fans, but the Dutchman insists it would be a waste of time if he ranted at his team from the side of the pitch.

"I don't see any influence from me when I am there shouting," he said. "They are not understanding you.

"With the fans in the Premier League shouting so much, they can't understand you.

"That's why I'm always on the bench. You have trained them to read the game by themselves all week.

"It is much more important that they are more involved with the game, that they make their own decisions. It is like a child - you educate them."

Van Gaal's Boxing Day opponent, Newcastle's Alan Pardew, is one of the most vocal managers from the touchline in the top flight.

Pardew's passion has boiled over into anger at times, which has been costly for the Magpies boss.

Last season he was banned for seven matches for headbutting Hull's David Meyler just two months after he was warned about his conduct following a foul-mouthed pitch-side tirade towards Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini.

The former West Ham boss has endured a number of spats with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, and also received a two-match ban for pushing linesman Peter Kirkup two years ago.

"I have never had a fight," Van Gaal added. "I only use my voice - never my hands or something like that."

The omens are looking good for United ahead of Friday's match against Pardew's men.

Since the Premier League began, United have won 19, draw two and lost one of their 22 matches played on Boxing Day.

Another victory would keep them just about in touch with leaders Chelsea, who are 10 points above them in the standings.

Given that the Blues have lost just once this campaign, it would take an almighty effort from United to catch Jose Mourinho's men, but Van Gaal is not convinced the Londoners have the title sewn up just yet.

"In the Netherlands and also in Germany, you have the Christmas champions but that doesn't mean you will be champion in May or June," Van Gaal said.

After finishing seventh under David Moyes last term, United have set Van Gaal the target of a top-four finish this year, but the former Bayern Munich manager is aiming even higher.

"Our goal is still to be champions at the end of the season," he said. "In a football world, number one is the most important thing.

"But it's not always easy.

"That's why the board have said that our goal is within the first four places but still, with my players and all the staff, we are trying to achieve more than they expect from us."

With four games coming up in 10 days, Van Gaal is sure to rotate his squad in order to try to keep pace with Chelsea and second-placed Manchester City.

Adnan Januzaj is one player who should appear at some point.

The Belgian enjoyed a successful breakthrough year under Moyes last term, but has started just four games this season.

Van Gaal refused to discuss rumours that United could let the 19-year-old go out on loan when the transfer window opens on January 1.

"I can't discuss that with you," Van Gaal said at his pre-match press conference. "You are not the CEO (chief executive, Ed Woodward)."

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph