Home / Football / Does van Gaal understand English Football?

Does van Gaal understand English Football?

Embed from Getty Images

Since his arrival at Old Trafford, there have been several occasions when Louis van Gaal has proven that despite his success on the continent, he is no expert on the culture of English football. The Sports Lowdown looks at five occasions when van Gaal has demonstrated a lack of expertise on the workings of English football.

Queens Park Raisins

Although it was humorous at the time, van Gaal referring to Queens Park Rangers as Queen Park Raisins highlighted that van Gaal’s knowledge of the Premier League’s lesser teams was not up to scratch. The mispronunciation didn’t seem to affect United as they went on win both of the league fixtures against the side that was eventually relegated. However, it did highlight that while van Gaal had proven himself abroad and had a good knowledge of European leagues, his familiarity with English football was not as good as it should have been.

MK Dons 4-0 Manchester United

In his first cup game as Manchester United manager van Gaal’s side was demolished by the MK Dons who at the time were plying their trade in League One. The Dutchman saw the game as an opportunity to experiment with several younger players, but it soon became clear he had underestimated the strength in depth English football has. Several of the players he had selected were played out of position, and Karl Robinson’s side outplayed United and went on to secure the most famous result in their short history.

Cambridge United 0-0 Manchester United

Manchester United were not the first Premier League side to be thwarted by lower league opposition and will not be the last. Although they dominated the game they unable to find a way past their determined opponents. After the game, instead of congratulating Cambridge on their performance, van Gaal instead blamed the poor result on the state of the pitch and the refereeing performance. These excuses came across as embarrassing given the gigantic gap in resources between the two clubs.

‘Evil’ Winter Break

The festive period is one of the most exciting times on the English football calendar as the quick turnaround in fixtures gives fans plenty of football to watch over the holidays. Van Gaal is not the first foreign manager to complain about the winter fixture pile up and he won’t be the last, but to describe it as ‘evil’ is a tad dramatic and highlights the fact that he hasn’t quite understood the football culture in England.

Europa League ‘A Big Achievement’

After being dumped out of the Champions League, van Gaal wasted no time in reminding United fans that they had Thursday night football to look forward to. The Europa League is a significant trophy for most clubs, but a club of United’s size would be expecting to reach the latter rounds of Europe’s premier competition. His comments about United doing well to compete with Wolfsburg didn’t go down well either, as the club he described as the second biggest in Germany currently find themselves seventh in the Bundesliga.


MUFC Van Gaal

About Ryan Caunt

Check Also

Everton V Chelsea preview

Embed from Getty Images   Chelsea travel to Goodison Park on Sunday where boss Antonio ...