Daley Blind’s father, Danny, played for Louis van Gaal at Ajax, winning the league and European Cup with him there. Daley has reflected on what it was like when his dad was playing for his current manager.
I was five when my dad won the Champions League. I can’t remember watching it live on the television but, growing up, I saw all the videos and dreamed it might be me one day. I am proud of his achievements and proud to carry the name Blind. I guess I must have seen Louis van Gaal as a boy when I’d go to watch my father train but I can’t remember anything specific. I first got to know him with the Dutch team. When Louis van Gaal tells me things, I think it might be the same advice he used to give my father!
Van Gaal has a reputation as being an intimidating coach but Blind insists the manager is just honest, but fair.
People only think he’s intimidating because he is honest. He is honest to people. Yeah, sometimes the truth can be hard to some players or people. But I really like that in a person and especially in a manager. Every player knows their job, what they have to do in training and matches. It is very clear and I think that makes everything a bit easier for players. As a team we believe in his philosophy. It is a good feeling for a player if you know where you stand. Sometimes it can be a bit frightening when somebody is really honest but I think it is positive. I don’t get any special treatment, definitely not. I make mistakes, too, and I try to learn when he says something. It can look as if he is angry but he is trying to make you better. He does that from a football perspective, it’s not personal. He treats everybody the same.