Former Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has retaliated to comments made by Angel Di Maria, who recently claimed his failure in England was a result of mismanagement.
Di Maria became the fifth signing of the Van Gaal era at Old Trafford, joining the club in 2014 for a then-British record fee of £59.7m from Real Madrid.
What did Di Maria say? Five key things to know…
- Upon signing for United Di Maria proved an instant hit at Old Trafford.
- He was directly involved in nine goals across his first nine Premier League appearances (three goals, six assists).
- However his form significantly dipped, and he mustered just five PL assists for the rest of the season with no goals.
- In response Di Maria has now placed the blame on Van Gaal for his poor form.
- Van Gaal, though, has since hit back saying no-one is to blame for Di Maria’s dip in form apart from the player himself.
Expectations were high upon the Argentine’s arrival in the north west, but he immediately showed the United faithful exactly why the club couriered such a large fee to the Spanish capital in exchange for his services.
The mercurial marvel was sensational during his opening appearances for the club but his form significantly waned as the season progressed and he was largely seen as a flop come the end of the campaign.
Speaking about his time at Old Trafford Di Maria explained how there “were complications with the coach at the time” but Van Gaal has denied this, saying the player simply failed to acclimatised to the demands of the Premier League as well as failing to truly assimilate his own ideas.
“Di Maria says it was my problem. I played him in every attacking position. You can check that,” Van Gaal told the BBC.
“He never convinced me in any of those positions. He could not deal with the continuous pressure on the ball in the Premier League. That was his problem.”
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‘Negative football not true’
Van Gaal was often criticised by the English media as well as some sections of the United fanbase for adopting a perceived negative brand of football.
However, the Dutchman has averted attention away from his own style and instead pointed the finger at clubs who park the bus when facing those at the top of the game’s food chain.
“It is not true,” he argues. “You say it was boring. Why was it boring? Maybe it was boring-attacking but that was because the opponent parked the bus. Then you have to play at a higher tempo, which is difficult. Then you have to see what kind of players you have.
“Wayne Rooney should have been the number 10 but Robin van Persie was not fit enough for the Premier League, which meant Rooney was the best striker we had. But Manchester United needs the best striker in the world.”