Louis van Gaal's reign as Manchester United manager has taken its first off-field blow after an unnamed star admitted to pals that players were not happy with his training techniques.
Van Gaal has seemed imperious since taking over the reins at Old Trafford. His reputation as a harsh taskmaster was supposed to whip a number of flailing Manchester United players back into shape after a disastrous campaign under David Moyes.
However, one Manchester United player has admitted the first cracks are starting to appear in the new regime. The star in question believes the players are struggling to adapt to Van Gaal's in-your-face coaching techniques that are farflung from Sir Alex Ferguson's.
According to The Evening Standard, the anonymous Red Devils star told pals: “Van Gaal stands on the sidelines and does a lot of shouting and bawling. It’s been an eye opener and not what we expected at all. Sir Alex knew how to use the hairdryer but this is on full blast. The trouble is, it’s not working.”
“United have stuck with old routines for many years and the changes are causing confusion. It doesn’t mean the changes are wrong but it’s taking the players time to get adjusted to them all.”
The failure to adapt to Van Gaal's new philosophy would go someway to explaining why the players are underperforming in the early days of his management. Manchester United are still winless in the Premier League after a loss to Swansea and a draw away to Sunderland.
The biggest blow came in the Capital One Cup as League One side Milton Keynes Dons run away 4-0 winners from their second round tie. Van Gaal stood bemused on the the sidelines but claimed after the game that the result didn't surprise him.
One year promise
He continued by claiming that it could take over a year for him to embed his philosophy at Old Trafford. Judging by the comments above and the performances on the pitch, it seems that one year is quite ambitious.
Van Gaal encouraged fans to be patient, but concerns of a repeat of last season are already beginning to gather pace.
He told reporters: "(The fans) have to believe in our philosophy.
"We are building up a team that you cannot make in one month or even one year.
"It (Tuesday's defeat) is very disappointing but I hope they shall maintain their confidence in the club, and in our philosophy because that philosophy takes time.
"We know exactly what we are doing. We have lost in the Capital One Cup, and so tonight has cost us the chance of a trophy, and that is disappointing."