In a press-conference that was dominated by questions on David De Geaa s future at Manchester United, Louis Van Gaal made unusual revelations regarding his goalkeeper while talking about his alleged interest in Pedro who is reportedly looking for a move away from Barcelona in search of more playing time.
Ahead of Manchester Uniteda s Friday night kick-off against Aston Villa, Louis Van Gaal revealed that it was David De Gea who made the decision to sit out Uniteda s opening fixtures as he was embroiled in the transfer saga with Real Madrid.
He was not the same David de Gea as before
When asked about the Spaniard’s position in the side, Louis van Gaal revealed that De Gea had informed Manchester United’s goalkeeping coach, Frans Hoek, that he did not want to play against Tottenham Hotspur.
“Then I have to take the decision. It is a process. We had been observing him in preparation, he was not so good, he was not the same David de Gea as before. He was my best player last season. According to the fans, he was the best of the last two years.”
The Dutchman also confirmed that De Gea would not be included in the match against Villa, and is unlikely to feature for United for the remainder of the month, with Sergio Romero likely to continue between the posts. Besides playing a couple of wayward passes, Romero was at ease in front of the goal for Manchester United against Tottenham. While many don’t see him as a long-term replacement for the Spaniard, having performed respectably in both the World Cup and Copa America, Romero is competent enough to take over United’s goalkeeping responsibilities should David de Gea complete his move to Real Madrid.
Van Gaal on Pedro links
Though Romero was United’s fifth signing of the summer, the Dutchman spoke about the likelihood of signing Pedro from Barcelona. Though Louis Van Gaal denied making an official bid for the player, he did however admit to being interested in the want-away Barcelona winger.
a My answer is that ita s a process between a club and a player, and we are there also. I dona t mention anything before he has signed. When he has signed I will come to you and say: a Hey, Pedro is here.a That is not the case and we shall wait to see.a
The Dutchman also responded to the recent criticism that came his way from former player Hristo Stoichkov. The FC Barcelona legend had alleged that Louis Van Gaal was destroying Manchester United in the same manner in which he had previously destroyed the Catalan giants.
“[Van Gaal] makes the players suffer, as he was such a mediocre player himself. He is destroying all the players, as he is so mediocre — look at the players who have left because of him. First he destroyed Barcelona in that era, then it takes many years to rebuild.”
The Dutchman brushed-off his comments in a stoic, unaffected manner, citing how some of his critics, including Luca Toni and Stoichkov, will always try to bring him down, but insisted that he has always had more well wishers than critics.
Van Gaal has acquired a lot of scepticism amongst the British press, but has always kept United’s interests as the prime priority. In the face of losing their best player, van Gaal has kept a firm hand, clearly showing that no one, not even he, will hold the club to ransom if they are to get back to a position of glory.
While the future of David De Gea seems to be the overarching theme of United’s problems, Van Gaal seems to be focused on getting Manchester United off to a good start. A win against Aston Villa will be vital, considering their abysmal away record last season, where they won only six games on the road.