Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has admitted that he has changed his approach to instructing the team being warned by players about a “flat” dressing room.
Wayne Rooney and Michael Carrick spoke with van Gaal about the mood in the United dressing room, saying it was “flat” and van Gaal seems to have taken their warnings to heart. He told The Guardian that he has changed his approach with the team.
“Yes, I have changed the way that I [draw up] the game plan to them,” van Gaal said. “Now I ask in advance and they can say what they want. Most of the strategy is always the same because they like the way we have done it.”
Van Gaal said he welcomes the dialogue with the players about change, but that they have to have compelling arguments.
“They have to explain why and how and then I’ll listen,” he said. “Not only I will listen. Also my assistants are listening and then we discuss it. And then I have to change it. But, yeah, then you have to come with strong arguments, so I have adapted.
“For example, I have read there are a lot of meetings. That’s the philosophy – that you have to make an analysis of the 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. Then you have to practise. Then we have to discuss with the players, on the pitch, how they feel. And maybe we have to change. And when they have good arguments, we change. And then we play the match. And then we have to see how they play. And then I have to say something at halftime and then I can change, then we have an evaluation meeting.
“So, when you have professional behavior, you know there are a lot of meetings. And we are working at the most commercial club in the world, so we have also a lot of commercial activities.”
United beat Liverpool 3-1 on Saturday, so some of the changes might already had a positive effect.