IF LOUIS ADAPTS, HE WILL PROVE BIG HIT

The Football League Paper - - GRAHAM WESTLEY -

I WAS for­tu­nate to hear Louis Van Gaal speak at a re­cent League Man­agers’ As­so­ci­a­tion con­fer­ence.

He was a hu­mor­ous man, dry in his ap­proach. A very dif­fer­ent man, too.

This week, he has come un­der fire for the brand of foot­ball that he is play­ing at Manch­ester United.

The United fans have not been used to a team that draws 0-0 and they will not tol­er­ate it. De­spite be­ing in a po­si­tion to play for top spot in the Premier League, the fans are not happy.

The more ex­pe­ri­enced I have be­come, the more I understand the role of a man­ager in adapt­ing to the cul­ture of the club that he is em­ployed at.

Corinthian-Ca­su­als are a gen­tle­men’s foot­ball club. To man­age them, man­ners are all im­por­tant.

Manch­ester United are an at­tack, en­ter­tain­ment and win fo­cused club. To man­age them, you have to adapt to that cul­ture. Win­ning 1-0 will not earn you the fans’ hearts.

Hav­ing lis­tened to Van Gaal speak, I’d be con­fi­dent that he will adapt his ap­proach. He very clearly un­der­stood the dif­fer­ences in cul­tures be­tween clubs and coun­tries and the need to adapt his man­age­rial style.

Fans might be frus­trated by his cur­rent ap­proach. Con­ser­va­tive foot­ball won’t win the top Euro­pean tro­phy.

But you can be sure that there will be a ‘cun­ning plan’ be­ing con­structed in the back­ground. It was clear he is no­body’s fool. He is a se­rial win­ner for clear rea­sons.

It does some­times take time to cre­ate win­ning. It cer­tainly can take time to cre­ate en­ter­tain­ing win­ning. But I, for one, would back him to crack that agenda, step by step.

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