Louis van Gaal: the man who single-handedly ruined his football legacy

Louis van Gaal: football manager by day, sex addict by night; the Dutchman ruled with an iron fist, and we’re not talking about on the training ground. Liked by few, detested by many; the former Manchester United gaffer was about as popular around Carrington as Donald Trump in a climate change rally.

You can understand why the Dutchman’s retirement from football has not been met with tributes, and a new emoji on Twitter.

If it wasn’t the boring football, it was the unmovable stubbornness. This dictatorial nature which saw the huge names be completely sidelined, from the likes of Robin van Persie to Rio Ferdinand. The United boss did not care for reputations, he didn’t care for dressing room presence and he didn’t care how much a player was loved by the fans; it was his way, or the backdoor.

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For all the Dutchman’s credentials – and to be fair to him, he has a lot – he completely shattered them with his time at Manchester United. And no, Louis, winning the FA Cup will sadly not repair any damage done.

It was too controlling, too autocratic; the likes of Victor Valdez can vouch for that more than any other. The Dutch boss simply did not care, too stuck in his ways, and too obsessed with his own methods, that he lacked any ability to adapt or be flexible. It ultimately cost him his job, and it was ironically the then 64-year-old with the door slamming his “twitchy ass”.

It was moments such as these which provided some box office entertainment for the media and fans, alike, but this was van Gaal’s only half decent contribution to the Red Devils. The Dutchman should have quit whilst he was ahead, and signed off with a very respectable third position in the 2014 World Cup with Holland.

“I wanted to stop after the World Cup but then the opportunity in England came up. And that was a fantastic country that is now also on my CV.

“But I was standing on the gangplank for the last six months. My head was in the guillotine, put there by the English media. And then in those circumstances you have to try and stick to your vision and inspire the players of Manchester United.”

Louis van Gaal

This quote says a lot. It’s all about van Gaal, you can see that with the amount of references of ‘I’, and ‘my’. He’s so narrow-minded in his thinking, that he can’t get away from his own approach. The time he produced the long ball dossier following Sam Allardyce’s comments on his tactics, highlights this defensive nature, more than anything. This was only amplified in his media duties, where the stubbornness was a serious issue, often hostile, and too often played the card of a ‘victim’. This is a recipe for disaster in Britain – the country of self-deprecation. The Dutchman didn’t get it.

The United gaffer makes out how his “head was in the guillotine”, but this was his own fault. Spending in the wrong areas, not being efficient in the transfer market; the 2014 window highlights this.

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It’s a shame for van Gaal, who should be remembered for winning domestic league titles across three different countries, as well as a Champions League for good measure. But, that doesn’t matter in Britain, because, as the saying goes: “you’re only as good as your last game”, and strangely enough, that was the FA Cup for the Dutchman. But, his previous two years had made that game more of a predicted obituary for the United boss than the ending of a Quentin Tarantino movie; his ending was that obvious.

Thanks for the memories, Louis, but your legacy is closer to that of an Eastern dictator, than a Champions League-winning manager.

 

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