Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has admitted that Wayne Rooney and Michael Carrick came to him to voice concerns about a “flat” locker room.
United has started off the Premier League season with two wins, a draw and a loss, which is good for fifth place. But there has been a lot of external distractions surrounding the team like that David de Gea situation with Real Madrid. De Gea signed a four-year extension on Friday, but Rooney and Carrick voiced concerns to van Gaal about the atmosphere in the locker room.
“I think I have a superb relationship with my players,” van Gaal told The Guardian. Maybe you have to consider how many players are coming to the manager to say something. In my career as a manager, I didn’t have so many who come to say something about the atmosphere in the dressing room or the way we train, or something like that. But it is very positive that they are coming to you and that they trust you.
“I have read things that we haven’t talked about. It is the same story as last year, but the consequence of the philosophy is that we have to release players. The whole dressing room has been changed. Can you imagine when your friend must leave? What are your feelings then?
“Rooney and Carrick came to me and said the dressing room is flat – they told me to help me. I communicate not only with my captains, they try to warn me. I then go to my dressing room and discuss with my players and we discussed a lot of aspects – but not what some have written.”
Van Gaal has been criticized over the years for his very strict coaching style.