A biography on Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal is set to be released in English tomorrow, and it includes derogatory comments about him from at least six high-profile former players.
According to ESPN the book written by Dutch journalist Hugo Borst includes quotes from a number of ex-stars who played for Van Gaal during different stages of his career, and, though he’s currently one of the most well-respected coaches in football, they don’t have much good to say.
Brazilian legend Rivaldo, who played for Barcelona during the Dutchman’s reign in the late nineties, accused the now-United boss of being jealous of the success he achieved with Brazil by way of winning the World Cup in 2002, and compatriot Giovanni claimed “Van Gaal knows nothing about football."
"He is jealous I won a World Cup he couldn't even qualify for" - Rivaldo
Clarence Seedorf, who starred under the 63-year-old in 1995 and was part of the Ajax side which lifted the Champions League is also said to have an axe to grind. The AC Milan legend said: “The man I had come to know as a man of his word turned out to be something else entirely. Because of the way he treats people, he has lost all credibility in my eyes.”
On top of that both Lucio and Luca Toni, who were both sold by Van Gaal after he was appointed as manager of Bayern Munich in 2009, also spoke derisively of their ex-manager, with the former making the statement that nobody else had hurt him as much in football.
In Borst’s book, entitled ‘O, Louis’, it’s made clear that there are hundreds of other players who think of Van Gaal in higher estimations than that of those mentioned, but the fact that a select few feel so strongly against the Dutchman could be cause for some concern for United fans.
Though it was made abundantly clear at the World Cup that Van Gaal isn’t one to tolerate passengers, and that he will put the ambitions of the team ahead of any individual player, the tumultuous setting at Old Trafford needs to be navigated carefully, and any internal bust-ups could have catastrophic fallouts.
Van Gaal at United
Thus far the Red Devils have failed to dramatically improve under his stewardship, and though over £150 million was spent during the summer in order to halt the poison which the United camp had been infected by after Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement, it’s obvious that more work still needs to be done.
Van Gaal’s next job will be finding a natural defensive leader to install into his leaky defence, though the ultimate aim is the get the club back into Europe at the first time of asking.