As the morale of Dutchman’s players worsens
- Louis van Gaal’s ‘supper-club’ has left Manchester United players unhappy
- Members of the team have been frustrated with rigid style of management
- Squad have to attend a series of tedious meetings lasting several hours
- Wayne Rooney and Co then gather for a 10pm supper of cereal and toast
- Manager’s system is said to be affecting the fragile morale of his players
Manchester United’s players remain unhappy with Louis van Gaal’s rigid style of management, with some complaining privately over the Dutchman’s ‘supper-club’ routine before matches.
Under Sir Alex Ferguson and David Moyes, the squad used to have time to themselves after dinner but now they have to attend a series of tedious meetings lasting several hours at the team hotel before gathering for a 10pm supper of cereal and toast.
For home games, Van Gaal’s players usually eat a dinner of chicken and pasta at their Carrington training base at 5pm before leaving for Manchester’s Lowry Hotel. The meetings and supper are followed by a 10.30pm bedtime.
Manchester United players have complained privately over Louis van Gaal’s ‘supper-club’ before matches
Van Gaal, pictured talking to captain Wayne Rooney, has introduced a number of routines since arriving at club
Even when United play away, Van Gaal tries to maintain the same routine.
It is something he introduced shortly after taking over at Old Trafford last year but it has become another element of Van Gaal’s strict repetitive approach that grates on United players.
Van Gaal likes to go through training drills over and over again to instil his ‘philosophy’, and he is a strong advocate of exhaustive team meetings to prepare for games and analyse performances.
But the manager’s system is said to be affecting the fragile morale of his players, who have delivered a series of stale performances this season.
The squad were back training on Wednesday after two days off, and a source told Sportsmail: ‘There’s no fun, no banter — just lots of meetings. The body language of the players isn’t right, and there’s no expression when they go out to play.’
The mood in United’s camp has been under scrutiny since skipper Wayne Rooney and vice-captain Michael Carrick went to see the manager in August to warn that the dressing room was ‘flat’.
Under Sir Alex Ferguson (left) and David Moyes (right), the squad used to have time to themselves after dinner
But under Van Gaal (centre) they have to attend series of tedious meetings lasting several hours at team hotel
Van Gaal admitted that he was alarmed by the news, and promised to listen to the players’ concerns, insisting that he is a communicator and not a dictator.
However, he insisted that regular meetings are an integral part of his management approach, and little has changed since.
He said at the time: ‘I have read there are a lot of meetings, but that’s the philosophy. You have to analyse opponents, then you need a meeting to show that. Then you have to make a game plan, then you have to hold a meeting about the game plan.
The Dutchman also gathers his players for a 10pm supper of cereal and toast – which has been criticised
Rooney and Michael Carrick, who confronted Louis van Gaal earlier this season, turn on the Old Trafford tree
‘Then you have to practise, then we have to discuss with the players, on the pitch, how they feel. Then you have to evaluate a performance. Maybe we then have to change — and when they have good arguments, we change.’
Despite United’s lethargic performances this season, they are third in the Barclays Premier League table just a point behind leaders Manchester City.
However, four of United’s past eight matches ended in goalless draws going into Saturday’s home game against West Ham.
And Van Gaal’s side must beat Wolfsburg in Germany next Tuesday to be sure of a place in the last 16 of the Champions League.
The mood in United’s camp has been under scrutiny since Rooney and Carrick went to see the boss in August
The United manager has insisted that regular meetings are an integral part of his management approach
Source: Daily Mail