Louis van Gaal is happy to ask any player to play with Manchester United’s U21s in order to gain match fitness, regardless of who it is.
Ander Herrera played for the U21s last week in order to build up his match fitness before making his return to the senior side against Hull City at the weekend.
Evidently it was a vindicated decision given how well Herrera played against Hull and Van Gaal made it clear he wouldn’t be afraid to ask any player to drop down to the U21s if necessary.
“You have to have professional league fitness. You have to be fit,” he said.
“That’s why players have to play in the second team, even players like Falcao, in spite of his name.
“Fitness is the most important thing. First you have to show your fitness. Not just for one day but for several weeks.”
Van Gaal’s authoritarian approach is miles apart from David Moyes’. Last year, the Scot was scared to take Robin van Persie off in case of a backlash from fans and his lack of belief in his own decisions reflected in the lack of respect players had for him.
That isn’t the case for Van Gaal and it’s exactly the approach a manager of Manchester United needs. Sir Alex always singled out maintaining power and control as the most important assets to his managerial career. something Van Gaal has in abundance.