Louis van Gaal claims Manchester United players were unprofessional during his Old Trafford reign

by Leo Nieboer

Louis van Gaal has hit out at Manchester United players for lacking professionalism during his time at Old Trafford.

The Dutchman, having taken Man United back to the Champions League, employed a system for his second season that actively sucked the life out of players and fans.

And despite claiming the FA Cup in May, the season was roundly considered to be a disaster following failure to qualify from the Champions League group stages or make the top four.

Speaking to German media outlet Bild, Van Gaal revealed that his Man United players failed to respond to emails from him to prepare for meetings.

“I developed the digital tracker with my IT man. Each player was able to log in,” he said.

“So I gave everyone the opportunity to prepare for the conversation with me at home and to meet me in dialogue at eye level.”

When asked about United players not responding to emails, he said: “That’s true, too. But this testifies to their lack of professionalism and I have then addressed them.

“But I already did that with the emails at Bayern. My conviction is that a full professional also wants to live professionally. Like Arjen Robben. He read the emails.”

This strange VLE system – something you’d think would be for people studying A-levels rather than Premier League footballers – sheds light on the borderline OCD management style of the Dutchman, a kind of Frankenstein-esque way of organising a team.

Footballers live incredibly lucky, rewarding lives but even they – like anyone who works, really – require time to relax, to be alone, to disassociate from life at office. This separation is essential: no player will perform well if they do not properly rest their minds. Mourinho’s decision to give players a guaranteed day off every week has been well received by players.

Unfortunately, this was not possible under Van Gaal. That notorious ‘philosophy’, which rapidly plunged his team into despair, haunted players even in the safety of their living rooms. No wonder the whole team started to resemble zombies by the end.

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