(Louis answers truthfully when asked about his chances of keeping the United job!)

Dear Mr van Gaal,

I have some questions for you regarding your team selection and overall philosophy.

Firstly, would you please explain to me why Wayne Rooney was given the captaincy? He rarely shouts, doesn’t lead by example and is far from being United’s best player. When compared with the likes of Bryan Robson or Roy Keane, as a captain, he isn’t even on the same planet! So this is the first strange decision I would like to know the reason behind.

Secondly, on the same player. He has been, by a long way, United’s worst player this season, irrespective of whether he is played up front or in midfield. Do you still feel that, as captain, he should enjoy the special privilege of being picked for every game even though his form has been nothing short of abysmal?

You had the perfect opportunity, when he was injured, to allow him an extended rest period. Instead, as soon as he had recovered, he was back in the team and just as bad as ever. Has he donated an organ to you to deserve all this special treatment?

Still on team selection. You sold Rafael and, unfortunately, Luke Shaw is injured. Matteo Darmian has been purchased, but is not a regular. Why do you think that two or even three international full backs can be replaced by two ageing wingers? Or, occasionally, by one ageing winger and a midfielder. When you spent nearly £300 million on players, did it not occur to you to make sure there was some cover for the full back positions?

Next, why did you buy so many midfielders? Do we really need Fellaini, Mata, Herrera, Depay, Lingard, Schneiderlin, Schweinsteiger and Carrick? At least you seem to have adequate cover in this department, even if you do keep picking Fellaini.

You bought a 19 year old striker, who nobody really knew, for a massive amount of money. I accept that he looks a good investment for the future but what about the present? He cannot lead the line all season and has already suffered a mini barren spell. Who are you thinking of playing when he gets injured or loses form? You have sold Robin van Persie and Javier Hernandez, you have let Falcao go. You have sent Adnan Januzaj and James Wilson out on loan. So do I assume that the totally out of form Wayne Rooney will be pushed up front to fail yet again if Martial is out for any reason? Did it not occur to you to buy a world class striker with some of the money rather than ANOTHER midfielder?

So, as I write, Manchester United sit 5th in the table, two places higher than where they finished when David Moyes was in charge. Capital One Cup and Champion’s League interest has been ended. With Moyes United were still in the Champion’s League and would go on to reach the quarter final.

David Moyes was fired because he “failed” to lead United in the way he was expected to. He spent approximately £65 million. You are failing to lead United in the way you were expected to and you have spent nearly £300 million. Why are you still the manager of Manchester United?

What exactly is your philosophy?

Marouane Fellaini appears to know what it is but isn’t telling anyone. Have you told him to keep it a secret? Nobody else has come out and said they know what it is. Do you know what it is?

In fairness, it is a word you have used less and less just recently which is comforting because I now know that you haven’t a clue what your philosophy is and have stopped trying to convince everyone that you actually have one.

In conclusion, with Jose Mourinho now out of work and looking to manage Manchester United and Pep Guardiola about to leave Bayern Munich and go to Manchester, (which side is not so evident), do you not think it would make more sense if you just cleared off to your villa in Portugal for Christmas and forgot to come back?

I look forward to your speedy reply and even speedier departure.

On behalf of Manchester United fans everywhere, (well, the ones who feel the same way I do, anyway).

  1. inusah says:

    at alcost LVG hv to go.I like him but he has lost his Will. but I don’t think JM should be appointed


    • Wale says:

      I pretty agree with u,I think is high time fr VG to b sacked. my patience has completely worn out but I don’t subscribe to d opinions of people who are saying we shud employ JMoh. no doubt abt it Moh is a fantastic coach but I don’t av much flairs fr his jibes… I ll luv tu c either Anceloti or Pep


  2. Prince Evans says:

    Supported! Van Gaal should vanish with his so called philosophy. Who is talking about philosophy? Manchester United is known by their offensive attack and goal scoring and that’s what the fans need! May also state categorically that we need not Jose Mourinho, who Manchester United need to replace Van Gaal is Pep Guardiola that’s all


  3. Mastdoc says:

    Yeah ur right dude,i luv diz


  4. lilloo says:

    Moyes spent £28 million on Fellaini but also £37 million on Mata. Think you missed that point


    • Well spotted Lilloo. You’re right of course but United got to the Champion’s League quarter finals without him as he was cup-tied having already played for Chelsea, so the point I was making was about the money spent on available players, but I have amended the article because what you say is correct.


  5. Said Alwi says:

    Van Gaal…please leave for Man Utd sake. We are not the team like we use to be. U wreck Man Utd reputation. You screw up every damn thing in Man Utd. You are no good for United. Please leave. You are not welcome here.


  6. Aztecmike says:

    I agree with your sentiment and I agree VGaal should go, but you undermine your arguement by bad info. Depay, Mata and Lingard are not midfielders, well, not like the others you mention. Depay is a striker at best, Mata is a no 10 and Lingard is a winger if he’s anything. The others are midfielders and, apart from Carrick and Fellaini, all are fine at Utd, VGaal just doesn’t know how to use them. VGaal just doesnt know how to play in the Premier League. He’s had a season and a half and his response to trying to break down packed defences is to make sure Utd have two defensive midfielders at all times. He’s the Dutch Trappatoni, afraid to lose, he doesnt ‘like’ football, it’s just a job, we may as well have Michael Owen in charge. Mourinho would be a sideways step and Guardiola’s as good as signed with City, Klopp moved back into management too early so, for me, Potchettino would be a perfect fit for United.


    • Thanks Mike. I completely agree with you on the positional aspect. I was merely pointing out the amount of players United had “collected” who could play midfield. Whether that be wide, defensive, central or attacking. Some of that money would have been better spent elsewhere. Thanks for the comment.


  7. Richard says:

    I agree with everything you said. Except for Mourinho. We absolutely can not replace one unexciting egotistical manager with another. If you think we play boring now, just wait until Mourinho gets his hands on United.


  8. y2s says:

    If Pep decides to go to Man City, why can’t Man Utd go for Pellegrini? He’s an amiable guy with good, if not great, record, and an attractive footballing philosophy. And he’s not very old – 62; LVG is 64.


  9. A Talib MY says:

    The main problem is the striker. there is not enough movement and not creating enough. Also, no real marksman. There is no urgency or the fighting spirit that we used to see. No fear factor in that department (remember Ronaldo, RVN, Yorke, Cole, younger Rooney, Mark hughes, Gordon Strachan, Whiteside). if there is no proven striker coming in January, the season is going to be a long cloudy journey.

    Van Gaal should watch the videos of last season’s against CIty, Liverpool, Spurs, Chelsea. Why cant they play like that? I think the players could but somehow this season not able to, by design or by their choice, its a question to debate.

    However, I think he has lost the dressing room and unless he shows some guts of changing his “philosophy”, he will be fired if fail to beat Stoke. Beating Stoke is the final nail in the coffin for him. Motivation subject is key in any leadership courses. So motivate LVG. Stand up to the touchline, shout or bark if you need too.Show us fans that you deserve to be there, and you are changing too for the club. This is Man Utd, not your pension fund that you can just rely on your financial advisers while you sipping your wine or your coffee in portugal. We need you to show the passion, the Man Utd passion. We dont want the behind the scene hardwork, we want to see the you when the real matches are being played.

    My last note is, I would rather have Giggs to see out the remaining of the season if LVG is sacked. Mourinho is an astute manager but unless he too changed his methods of handling his players, Man Utd will not gain from him in the long term.

    We want the Manchester United way, especially in the Premier league.


  10. RedMe says:

    I just love the letter, I believe that you expressed the voice of many Manchester United Supporters and I wish LVG did the decent thing and left and enjoy retirement any place but Manchester. For me the Theatre of Dreams is turning in the Theatre of Nightmares. What angers me the most is the team losing and LVG staying in the comfortable seat, dry and warm with his little notepad , and on the pitch they are at a total loss. What kind of a manager is that? Does he only care about his philosophy and his pay cheque?


  11. Modisaotsile Bolokang says:

    At one point i thought LVG would bring happiness to Old Trafford but dat is neither here nor there. I also have a feeling that the gentleman should just leave Man U’s hot seat and look somewhere else.


  12. frankdlaw says:

    What Scholes started is now a narrative, a narrative that the fans & now the media has taken in hook, line & sinker! If that which is not there is difficult to see, that which is obvious, plain & clearly evident, is at times even harder to see!

    It should be observed that the obvious is the very face of reality. Not missing the things right under our nose preserves us from danger, from loss and from disappointment; it clouds our judgement! But do fishes notice water? No, because it is all around them. Is water vital for fishes? Certainly, it is.

    Indeed, there is plenty of such manifest and meaningful things around us on clear display, lying there on our path; some we see, but some important ones we pain to notice, and only if we turn our heads towards them with intent and rub our eyes. That the United Board has clearly done, to justifiably describe LVG as a genius manager!

    Respect! LVG is a man of integrity. It’s time that the media stop inventing, as click bait, a crisis when there is none!

    It never ceases to amaze me how, with so much interest in football, that the tactical analysis of it can be so mediocre compared to American sports media.

    There is a reason why most ex-stars such as Paul Scholes, et al, with some notable exceptions, make such terrible football managers! Paul Parker is certainly no exception.

    Many ex-stars had also criticized LVG’s foundational changes at Barcelona but they were ultimately proven wrong when it finally clicked & Barcelona went on to become one of the best sides to have ever existed!

    What these MU moaners fail to understand is that SAF had worked out how to dominate the league, but that LVG is preparing MU for the next level.

    In a nutshell, the sum total of Ferguson’s tactics was basically crossing, by fullbacks or wingers, at the near post. Strikers aimed to beat center backs with quick and instinctive near-post runs. That worked well & United picked up valuable points galore against the minnows, oftentimes enough points in the bank to win the league. But every time they came up against the more tactically disciplined teams like Mourinho’s or Guardiola’s, they came unstuck! It’s no coincidence, who Mourinho & Guardiola learnt their trade from…Ferguson also operated at a time when United had the financial muscle to buy the best players… Now with oil clubs & TV money, the gulf in standards (pun intended) have narrowed significantly!

    Someone should remind Scholes that he played in the 2011 Champions League Final in Wembley, when the entire team including Scholes, were given a footballing lesson by Barcelona! It was even worse then watching the team, including Scholes (albeit coming on as a substitute) huffing & puffing & looking bemused all game, chasing shadows!

    Ferguson’s United played quite a few many dreary European nights…nights that bored me to tears too!

    Now let’s examine LVG’s tactics. Tactically, to solve United’s defensive woes, LVG introduced the double pivot, i.e. using 2 holding midfielders in front of the back 4, to break up play, distribute the ball & generally control the tempo of the game.

    This makes the defense solid & allows United to dominate possession, but it also slows down play as the build up happens too slowly – holding midfielders always need that extra touch, always need to have a look when they have the ball. That gives the opponent time to position themselves to stop the killer pass and mark the forwards. Plus, this tactic means there is one less creative playmaker.

    Rooney’s plunge in form has scuttled the tactic for it can work well as the team’s No 10 can play as an extra attacker, knowing that he’s covered by the double pivot! The solution is obvious…

    So IMO, when LVG finally replaces Rooney or persuades Rooney as a No. 10, to play as an extra attacker…& recruit a midfielder in the mould of Sami Khadeira to knit things together in a box to box role, with Sweinsteiger dictating from deep, the team will continue to attract criticism for its slow possession based football…

    An analogy is due here. Look at master chefs & their incredible knife skills. Those skills were not acquired overnight. The master chefs were, I’m sure, initially labored & slow in their knife techniques & it was through years of constant repetition of the basics that it became almost reflexive. Their hands move in a blur without their having to think of it.

    I have a friend who spends her life playing classical violin concertos as a soloist with the world’s leading orchestras. People have no idea of the constant discipline involved, the tens of thousands of hours intense practice she has done in her life and the continued quantity and intensity of hours practice which she still has to put in day in/day out to maintain and improve her level.

    What LVG is aiming for…for the players moves to be so quick without them having to think too much about it, almost a kind of “highly disciplined reflexive-football”, is something that’d take years to groove in!

    So the next step in the evolution of United’s play is to adopt one touch football whilst playing the same system.

    In fact, all Rijkaard did after taking over at Barcelona was to adopt the same system that LVG laid down but tweaking it slightly by playing one-touch football.

    This was taken to the extreme by Guardiola who maintained the same system but cranked up the speed of the one-touch football another notch, which made Barcelona’s football untouchable & awe inspiring! It’s actually an evolution.

    Barcelona’s recent treble success backs the remarkable work Luis Enrique has done in evolving Barcelona’s play in finding the right blend between direct and possession football. They were aided in this score by having probably the worlds best attacking trio!

    Suarez had struggled playing wide pre-2015; Luis Enrique swapped positions between Messi & Suarez in a decision which transformed Barca’s attack. Suarez is arguably the best No. 9 in the world right now, Messi is the best footballer in the world and Neymar could potentially be the best player in the world.

    So what happens when you find a coherent system to bring the best out of them collectively? The most goals ever by an attacking trio! Even Guardiola, currently with Bayern Munich, acknowledges that Barcelona is now the best counter attacking team in the world!

    LVG just didn’t have the time to complete the transformation at Barcelona & Bayern. United should give him the time.

    In any event, even if it doesn’t come to fruition during LVG’s tenure, I’m pretty sanguine about it, as I know that it’d get there under a new manager, provided the system is evolved & perhaps, even slightly tweaked from time to time, but not changed in its entirety!

    The upshot is, most managers would be jostling for LVG’s job as it would be the easiest job in the world, knowing that LVG has done all the foundational work! It would be no surprise if Pep Guardiola picks United as his next assignment. Mourinho? The less said the better. Would Ryan Giggs be the next Luis Enrique? That’s something for the CEO or the Board to decide…


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