Louis van Gaal believes the heavy criticism aimed towards Manchester United’s players this season could have an influence on the squad and says learning to ignore it is crucial, especially for the youngsters.
The miserable 2-1 defeat to FC Midtjylland is considered the low point for van Gaal’s side and fan frustration has got more vocal as the season has gone on, with calls for the Dutchman’s resignation now being impossible to ignore.
Speaking about the criticism, van Gaal doesn’t think it should influence his players because of the coping mechanisms they have to cope with it.
“Maybe it can be an influence because there is a lot of criticism,” he said.
“But they have to use their tools to ignore the criticism because that’s very important – not only the criticism of their manager but also of themselves. That is also always a means to prepare yourself properly. It should not be an influencing subject.”
I think the criticism of the players and van Gaal has been absolutely justified. United shouldn’t be losing to the likes of FC Midtjylland away or Norwich at home but it’s become commonplace this season, so much so that it’s not even surprising when it happens any more.
Van Gaal’s thick skin protects him from it all because he’s had harsh criticism throughout his whole career but plenty of the players wouldn’t have experienced it as much as they have this season, so it’s something new to them.
That being said, I think plenty of it is fair so they’ve simply got to deal with it as part of the job. If fans can’t voice their frustrations then there is something wrong, although some do take it too far and that’s when it turns into a hinderance rather than a help.
The only thing the players can do is start to prove their critics wrong with performances on the pitch. Once the players look like they are giving everything for the shirt in every game, they’ll quickly find the criticism will die down into more of a muted whisper.