With voices everywhere crying for him to get the axe, it seems like Louis Van Gaal can’t catch a break. Manchester United has made such a notoriously poor showing this season that even the players under him are looking forward to a sea change with Mourinho. The outrage he’s gotten has been so inescapable that he himself is resignedly poking fun at his own impending doom.
But they always say that even though most of the world may hate what you do, there’s always that one person who’s life you’ve totally turned around. And well, we’ve just discovered who Louis Van Gaal’s special person is and he’s none other than Anthony Martial.
Van Gaal bought Martial from Monaco last summer for a hefty £36 million, the highest fee ever paid for a teenager before the potential increase, and he’s been flourishing under his tutelage ever since. With the Devils, Martial has played 42 games in total this season alone, more than in the previous two seasons with Monaco combined. Apparently, all that made the difference was Van Gaal’s unshakeable faith in the 20-year old Frenchman’s abilities.
“It’s not something I’d really expected, but it’s been very important for my development,” he expressed his pleasant surprise at his own heavy involvement during his first season, “The boss has shown a lot of faith in me and the fact he’s played me in so many games has allowed me to make progress and come as a player.”
Of course, humour’s as good a motivating factor as any. Martial claims that he finds Van Gaal utterly hilarious, though we’re not sure if he’s laughing at him or with him. “He yells at me. It makes me laugh because I know it’s for my own good.”
We’ll say he has. He’s already made 13 goals for Man U and believes that he could have made many, many more. Here’s to hoping he and Van Gaal continue to make a stellar partnership for the rest of the latter’s career steadily heads down the way of the dodos.