The midfielder was van Gaal’s fourth signing of the summer. Man United supporters were delighted with Schneiderlin’s addition, since the Frenchman was already a well known figure after several commanding seasons with Southampton in the Premier League.
So far, Schneiderlin has been a menacing force in defensive midfield for van Gaal, taking care of the unattractive but necessary side of the game with great energy, subsequently adding a vital dimension of ruggedness to United’s attack which has been in short supply for many years.
In an interview with France Football, the 25-year-old recounted the moment he first made contact with van Gaal.
“I kept my phone close to me for the whole day. Louis van Gaal sent me a text message to ask if he could call me in the afternoon.”
“I responded to him saying that he could call me whenever he wanted. His words were honest, frank and direct, he explained to me what Manchester United was, all the anticipation that was here, that when I would be at pre-season training in the United States with Manchester United that I would realise what type of club that I was getting involved with.”
“He is super strict, but it is like that that one progresses. He painted the picture for me, he told me that it was important that I was all ears, with a desire to always improve, to work hard. He explained to me how he operates and how he wanted Manchester United to play.”
While receiving a phone call from the Dutchman during a holiday may appear slightly daunting, this direct, the informal approach proved to work wonders.
As a player, speaking to the boss personally would make you feel like an important aspect to their plans, subsequently invoking confidence ahead of a mammoth task and, most importantly, establishing a good relationship with the manager from the outset. Schneiderlin’s performances in a United shirt have been accomplished and assured so far; perhaps his positive start is borne out of the phone call the two shared earlier on in the summer.