. Linked with a move for Barcelonaa s Pedro, Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal seems to be keen on signing the Spaniard in a bid to strengthen his squad before the end of the transfer period. While many critics, including Thierry Henry have backed Pedro to succeed at Manchester United, former Barcelona legend, Hristo Stoichkov has branded the Dutchman as mediocre while warning Pedro to stay away from Manchester United.
Though this stinging criticism was promptly dismissed by Louis Van Gaal, the Dutchmana s treatment of players such as David De Gea, Angel Di Maria and Victor Valdes during the past one year is sure to raise certain eyebrows. According to reports, Pedro is in two minds over his move to Manchester United as he is not entirely comfortable with the idea of playing under Louis Van Gaal. The Barcelona winger is particularly shaken by the manner in which Valdes was treated at United along with the David De Gea transfer saga.
Which begets the question – Should Pedro be afraid of Louis Van Gaal ahead of his proposed move to Manchester United? Perhaps a closer look at Victor Valdes, David De Gea and Angel Di Maria and the relationship they shared or seem to share with Louis Van Gaal will provide the answer.
There Is Only One Way And That Is Out
Ahead of Manchester Uniteda s pre-season tour, Victor Valdes was unceremoniously dumped from the squad with Louis Van Gaal later revealing that the goalkeeper was dropped as he failed to comply with his a philosophya .
a Valdes is not selected for the tour because he doesn’t follow my philosophy. The philosophy is how you play football and how you maintain your match rhythm.a
“He refused last year to play in the second team. There are a lot of other aspects in the philosophy of how you have to play like a goalkeeper at Manchester United.a
Though Valdes was given the opportunity to rehabilitate at Manchester United following his injury, the goalkeeper was promptly shown the door in a press conference over allegations that he refused to play for the reserves team.
“When you are not willing to apply the principles of that philosophy there is only one way, and that is out.a
Victor Valdes, however, disagreed with these accusations. Though the former Barcelona goalkeeper refused to comment on the situation publicly, he hit back at Louis Van Gaal by posting a tweet on the social media platform that seemed to indicate that he differed from the Dutchman with regards to his commitment to the club.
a Victor Valdes (@1victorvaldes) July 16, 2015
With the season underway, Manchester United seem to have burned all bridges with Victor Valdes who accompanied David De Gea to the stands for the opening fixture against Tottenham Hotspur.
David De Gea: From Professional To Human To Downright Ugly
Embroiled in a complicated transfer saga between Manchester United and Real Madrid, David De Gea has dominated the headlines this summer. Van Gaal hailed his star player for his professional behaviour as the goalkeeper returned to training on time after his holidays, unlike a certain Argentine (read Angel Di Maria) and an Englishman (read Raheem Sterling).
“He is a very professional player and he has showed fantastic attitude until now. I think that all my players behave themselves very professionally. That is the difficulty now for every manager.a
However, things werena t perfect for long at the Garden of Eden either. David De Gea was soon dropped from the starting line-up ahead of their opening fixture against Tottenham Hotspur as he was allegedly a distracteda due to the ongoing transfer negotiations with Real Madrid.
But Van Gaal seemed to sympathize with his player, explaining that a a human being is more than just a playera .
“We have problems of course with De Gea. He shall not play.a
a I think a human being is more than just a player. He cannot manage that. You have to wait and see who is starting.”
In the span of one week however, things turned downright ugly as Louis Van Gaal accused De Gea of refusing to play for the club unless his future with Real Madrid was settled. The manager also seemed to indicate that the goalkeeper was holding himself back in the practice sessions.
a Frans Hoek a he has a meeting with David de Gea and he asked him: a Do you want to play?a a
a a No.a 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.a
Reports coming from the David De Gea camp on the other hand suggested that goalkeeper was baffled by Van Gaala s claims, as the he had emphatically made himself available for selection ahead of the start of the season.
These contradicting statements once again raise questions regarding Louis Van Gaala s philosophy and his man-management skills at the club.
Angel Di Maria: Victim Or Traitor?
The fate suffered by Angel Di Maria at Manchester United could serve as a warning bell for Pedro. The Argentine was signed for a record fee last summer from Real Madrid but failed to cement his position in the starting line-up after he was unable to accommodate himself to Louis Van Gaala s philosophy.
While many have accused Di Maria of lacking the courage to fight for a place at Manchester United, the manner in which he was treated by Louis Van Gaal surely played a part in his hastened departure from the British club. Frequently used out of position, the Argentine wasna t given the freedom to operate, thus limiting his influence on the pitch. He ultimately lost his place in the team to Ashley Young, who ironically, was later branded as a not a Neymara when Van Gaal explained the dearth of creativity in his team.
a We dona t have a good vision. We can use much more creativity. Young had a fantastic season but he is not a Neymar and we have to compete with that kind of class.a
Louis Van Gaal had a player of Neymara s quality in his ranks when he signed Angel Di Maria from Real Madrid. The Argentine is capable of unlocking the oppositiona s defence with his pace and dribbling abilities and is also blessed with a keen passing sense that allows him to dictate the game. His subsequent demotion to the bench did little to help the Argentine habituate himself at Manchester United and his refusal to even turn up for the pre-season tour could perhaps be an indication of his fractured relationship with Louis Van Gaal.
While the fate shared by these players could serve to convince Pedro from staying away from Manchester United, the fact remains that he will get the opportunity to script his own fate should he make a move to Old Trafford. Though Louis Van Gaal has his detractors, several others players who have come up the ranks under his guidance, swear by his methods. Hence providing two sides to the same coin.