Manchester United’s manager Louis van Gaal is notorious for his no-nonsense approach.
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Just days after his side beat Barcelona 3-1 in a preseason friendly in Santa Clara, California, he hasn’t disappointed as the Dutchman outlined exactly why he believes his side can’t compete with the top clubs in world soccer.
Van Gaal, 63, was speaking in Chicago ahead of United’s final preseason friendly on Wednesday against Paris Saint-Germain in the International Champions Cup.
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The Red Devils boss was asked by reporters if this was now his team, as he has spent over $320 million on new players since he took charge 12 months ago.
“No, because we have to look for more balance, for more creativity,” van Gaal said. “For example, Chelsea have Hazard, Willian and Oscar. There is a lot of creativity there. And you need that because you have to disorganize [the teams who park] the bus. Next year there might be more teams who are parking the bus.”
Van Gaal was all about throwing out examples, as he then compared his winger Ashley Young to Barcelona’s Neymar to highlight United’s lack of top-class creative talents.
“We don’t have a good vision. We can use much more creativity,” van Gaal said. “Young had a fantastic season but he is not a Neymar and we have to compete with that kind of class.”
United’s main man obviously isn’t happy with the attacking talent at his disposal, and with Manchester City and Chelsea their main contenders for the Premier League title and United back in the UEFA Champions League this season, he knows other teams have more talent.
“I’m thinking at that time, they have Hazard, he can always make goals, he can always make an action and decide a goal. Manchester City have Aguero, it’s the same type. Barcelona has Messi, Neymar and Suarez,” van Gaal said. “We as Manchester United have to compete with these clubs. So we have to look also for that kind of players… When it is possible to buy for a reasonable price players from that level we shall do that. So with Schneiderlin, with Schweinsteiger, with Depay, with Darmian we are better than last year. But we have to be much more better and I say to you that is the creativity of my players in the front.”
Van Gaal doesn’t mince his words, we all know that, but with Wayne Rooney, Juan Mata and Angel di Maria (for now) around, United have top class attackers. Right?
If LVG is trying to let United’s Chief Executive Ed Woodward know that he wants more money to spent on attacking players, he could have done it in a more subtle way. Then again, that’s not the way van Gaal rolls, is it?