Manchester United: Louis van Gaal on buying bargains and brain training
Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal has been talking with the Telegraph:
On his vocation:
Already, when I was a boy, I knew I wanted to be a trainer-coach. I lived near the Ajax training ground and I watched the training sessions. All my friends were looking to the players and I was looking to the coach. It was a big difference.
I have played at the highest level in the Netherlands, until I was 32. But I was not a top player.
I know that when you analyse yourself, that you cannot be a top player. So, I knew in advance that I shall be maybe a very good trainer-coach.
On making Ajax
We didn’t have any money and we were bankrupt, so I had to look to youth. We scouted [Jari] Litmanen, a Finnish player, who we bought for £10,000. We also bought Finidi George. He was a Nigerian international. He was £3,000. I paid it by myself! And then, we bought Marc Overmars.
On his philosophy
When you see my press conferences, I’m discussing a lot my philosophy. Sometimes, the media is not very proud of it. But, sometimes, they are firmly crazy for it because I explain a lot. It takes always a little bit of time to transfer the message. I’m training in the brain – a lot of things in the brain – because football is not a sport of legs, it is a sport of brain, and tactics. So, that takes a lot of time.
On his job
I’m from a time where you [the manager] did everything. Now I’m the manager and I have a sports science department, I have a scouting department, I have a medical department, I have assistant managers, I have assistant coaches. I don’t do anything – nothing! I delegate. I delegate, and I earn a lot of money.
Read it all.