Louis van Gaal has offered valuable insight into the importance he places on the role of the captain of his team and perhaps given the clearest indication yet that Robin van Persie is likely to be the next Manchester United skipper.
United’s Dutch striker, now entering his third season at the club, captained the Oranje under Van Gaal’s stewardship to a third placed finish at this summer’s World Cup and is a front runner to wear the armband following Nemanja Vidic’s departure.
So far on United’s pre-season tour, Darren Fletcher and Tom Cleverley have captained the side against LA Galaxy and AS Roma respectively while Van Persie, Michael Carrick and Wayne Rooney reportedly remain in the reckoning for the prestigious role.
In an in-depth interview, Van Gaal discussed the captaincy at some length and revealed the huge importance he places on the role of skipper, explaining why he won’t be rushing into making a decision.
“The captain is always very important because he is the captain on the pitch, and can enlarge my influence,” Van Gaal said.
“He needs to have the same philosophy and the way of seeing football as me so it’s not so simple to choose and I need time to do that.”
Clearly, Van Gaal believes the captaincy will be a critical role in the team and has previously stated the necessity to have an excellent relationship with his skipper, with him conveying the coaches ‘philosophy’ and instructions to his team-mates on the pitch.
Reading between the lines somewhat, the attributes van Gaal describes like buying into his style of play and conveying the Dutchman’s messages on the pitch appear to point to Van Persie.
Robin was the standard bearer in Holland’s successful World Cup campaign and there will be nobody at the club who better understands his philosophy so it would come as little surprise to see United’s No.20 got the armband when he returns from holiday.