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Iniesta: Van Gaal cares about young players

Andres Iniesta has sung the praises of Louis van Gaal, claiming United’s boss commands respect from the older and younger players alike.

Van Gaal gave Iniesta his debut when he was the manager of Barcelona, and the midfielder has gone on to make over 500 appearances for Barcelona and 100 for Spain.

“He already commands respect when you are a veteran, so imagine when you have just entered the team and you are young,” he said. “But the truth is I have a special memory of him, because he is someone who is very important to me and if there was something he cared about, it was supporting the young players from the reserves.”

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. Tommy says:


    League titles – SAF 16 LVG 7
    Domestic cups SAF 14 LVG 3
    European trophies SAF 6 LVG 3
    World trophies SAF 2 LVG 1

    SAF wins it hands down and thats no disrespect to LVG but like @tallestreD said SAF has got no equal, LVG will be a very good manager for United but please dont compare him to the greatest of them all. Youve got fuck all to back up your opinions I have the trophies to back up mine

  2. Tommy says:


    Do please answer if he is so much better tactically than SAF why has he less than half the number of trophies as Sir alex, I will eagerly await youre excuses

  3. John says:


    Well, it’s a different comparison because Sir Alex was a “manager” who was given a complete control of football side of a club (scouting to player ins and outs) by a unique club Manchester United who except moyes has a history of giving new managers sufficient time and standing by them. SAF was in that respect lucky. He won’t have been given 4 or so barren years in Barca or Real for sure. so it’s a different comparison as to win in 3 different leagues and manage national team shows an adaptability and variation whereas stay for 27 years at same club is a loyality as well as suited to man-manager whose main trait was ability to motivate any bunch of player for 4-4-2 and 4-5-1.
    Who knows what would happen had SAF dared to leave to manage for club outside the island where culture and language barriers would exist as well as system of club management? Also who knows what would happen had Van Gaal stuck or given time in a club like United did to fergi?!

    So just reference to trophies doesn’t hold much water as the no. of CL trophies is a very poor return imo for fergie in a competition where tactics comes to real test.

    Anyway, agree to disagree. And…….don’t forget Van Gaal is 10 years younger than Fergie, still in quarterfinals of World Cup and still may manage united for next 6 years. He won’t surpass Fergie’s trophy counts but he will have variations to show against Fergie’s longetivity.

    All I know is Van Gaal is better than fergie in philosophical, tactical, technical and adaptability aspects of the game which is reflected in the career statistics of him as a “head coach”.

  4. John says:

    Also, all I have said is LVG is tactically better than fergie. I have never said he has won more trophies than fergie. I hope you can notice the difference. :(

  5. Tommy says:


    Ridiculous excuse, the evidence is their for all to see, its a lot harder to stay at a club for a long period without going stale and being able to rebuild let alone re builds 4 or 5 different times, its much easier to go from club to club like Mourinho and have an impact with a large budget. Why the fuck would he want to move? He had loads of offers to manage abroaed but why, when hes settled and managing the biggest job of all would he want to upsticks and move.Surely someone tactically ore astute would have more trophies, funny that all these tactically more astute managers are trailing in the trophy count, which is all that really matters

  6. John says:


    Tell me which bigger club in Europe in the level of United will accept 4 or 5 barren years at early stage? Which bigger European club will give complete control over football side of whole club unquestioned?! Which bigger club in Europe will accept football manager be like a club owner??!!
    These are the parameters any club head coach won’t get outside Britain.

    So mere trophy count is not sufficient criteria as there is mourinho who can easily exceed Sir Alex trophy count who also has excellent head to head record against Fergie. Then there is Guardiola.

    I think ferguson and United both are unique and stuck with each other at a time when both needed each other.

    At this phase, LVG and United are the perfect match.

    Tommy, let me tell you something: The decision to hand-pick moyes sums of fergie 100% if you analyse the psychology behind his choice. No master tactician would ever choose moyes to lead the club even after getting thumped by Barca twice in the Arse mercilessly. :(

  7. Tommy says:


    Carlo Ancholotti won 1 league title in his 8 years at AC Milan, their is just one example, United were not a club winning titles when he took over so of course hes going to be given more time to transform a club who was on its knees, so what if clubs sack their manager after a few bad results thats their choice, some managers have a good record agaiunst certain managers, rafa benetez has a good record against Mouniho and so does Pep, Fergie more often than not got the better of rafa, their was no shame in losing to the best side ever in Barca, LVG lost to a considerably weaker Inter Milan side comfortably, he also nearly relegated Barca, coneninetly left that out havnt you? Their is no comparison who is a better manager, SAF has did it with the biggest of them all, hes also won a European trophy with a small club whos whole team was born within 20 miles of the stadium. That will never be done again and is far more impressive than anytthing LVG, Pep or Mourinho have done combined. He give a chance to Moyes so what, Moyes deserved the opportunity to manage United after doing some admirable work at Everton, it never worked out, so in comes Louis who will hopefully ring the success back but to try and claim LVG is a better manager is one big fat lie

  8. Kris Okechukwu says:

    Even Del bosque was sacked after winning the league and guiding his club to ucl semis, not to mention he just won ucl a season before. Di matteo, also comes to mind, but saf exits ucl group stage and goes trophy less and still his job is still the most secured.

  9. Tommy says:

    @Kris Okechukwu

    So youre saying SAF should of been sacked because Madrid sacked del Bosque lol, How did that work after del Bosque for madrid? Oh yes they struggled to win anything. Di matteo was never a long term option he fluked a champions league and finished 6th in the league that season and into the next was struggling so he was always going to be sacked. SAF was never in danger of being sacked because he won trophies more often than not and we dont have idiots running our club like madrid, some opinions on RoM are getting more embarressing by the day, insinuating SAF should of been sacked haha ok then

  10. Tommy says:

    @Kris Okechukwu and John

    Lets be honest neitther of you lads would of ever been United fans if it werent for Sir Alex, You support winning over the football club, if SAF hadnt of walked through the door, United might have been approaching 50 years without a league title right now and you 2 would probably be on a liverpool supporters blog now

  11. tallestreD says:

    ” What Van Gaal did with
    Ajax is on par if not more significant than what
    Fergie did in 1999 with victory against Bayern
    winning CL. Interestingly Van Gaal was inspiration
    for ferguson to trust youth!!” That’s what he said Tommy

  12. iamMatty says:

    On the carrick issue…we would probably not witness how different cleverly and ando’s career may have turned out without carrick in the team.
    I have said it and will continue say it again.
    Carrick’s immobility has probably cost cleverly his united career, but you all will probably not understand.

  13. Marco Soares says:

    Haha @ iamMatty blaming Carrick on Cleverly not making the cut is absolutely ridiculous, people always go on about mobility but probably one of the best United partnerships in midfield was in 2008 with Carrick and Scholes (not the most mobile of midfielders) but they were fantastic players, Scholes of course the best but mobility wasn’t there strong point, it was about brains and keeping the ball moving, now to say Carrick’s lack of mobility has slowed down Cleverly and Andersons united career is an absolute joke

  14. Marco Soares says:

    @ John

    It is quite difficult to comprehend what you’re on about, Fergie took a relagation threatened Man Utd side to being a global sporting brand that demands the highest of standards, and you question the man? with hindsight the Moyes hiring was a disaster but Fergie had the best of intentions in choosing him, Moyes did have an excellent record in longevity and perhaps working with better players and a bigger budget was the catalyst for him to show his worth as a manager but alas Moyes wasn’t cut out for it and made a lot of stupid fucking decisions (I think its ridiculous that Fergie has been ridiculed for it)

  15. iamMatty says:

    @marco soares. Hahahahaha believe me am the one having the laugh here. Carrick and scholes? Must we united fans favour some players and shit on others?
    Everybody who actually saw the 2008 would admit how our midfield was never about the carrick and scholes patnership. It was always about the graft and industry of players like park ji sung, anderson, Owen hargo, darren fletcher, rooney&tevez dropping sooo farther back. Take those players out of that season and we will have the same dross we’ve witnessed over the last couple of seasons.
    Lets actually take a look at the first season and the few games ando and clev played together without the added duty of covering up for carrick, IT WAS MAGIC!!!! Best we’ve played in all of 4 seasons, until that idiot davies took clevz out for months.
    With carrick, cleverly does the defensive of 2. With carrick we defend so deep its annoying. A central midfielder who never harries, just sits infront of the back four and waits. Even in carrick’s finest season we conceded so many goals from just outside the box that it was ridiculous.
    I remember the cleverly that held his own against iniesta, alcantara et al in miami. I remember the cleverly that bossed lampard and co in a swashbuckling 3-1 win that could have been 9-4 honestly. The cleverly and ando that ran riot as we smashed le arse for 8.
    I remember this cleverly

  16. iamMatty says:

    Its quite lazy to just concede that cleverly didn’t turn out good, without really looking at the differences in the environs he operated in.
    We all label cleverly the king of the backpass, but do you all ever wonder consider who he’s supposed to pass to when his mildfield partner is always behind him?
    Cleverly will never be a player who makes a 60yard accurate pass to the feet of the winger, most players are rarely like that, herrera wount do that, strootman wount even vidal cant do that.
    Not taking anything from carrick’s ability, but he’s clearly a player who needs others to sacrifice a lot of their natural instincts for him to thrive.

  17. Marco Soares says:

    @ iamMatty then why on earth has Carrick been a mainstay of our team during the last 8 or so years under Fergie, and why has there been so much faith shown in him? you need a central midfielder who picks the ball of the defenders or the goalkeeper to get things moving, Barca has Busquets, Real has Alonso, Juve has Pirlo and we have had Carrick, i put him up in the brackets of those players, yes maybe not as good and classy as a Pirlo but he has similar traits, I think Carrick has been a fantastic player for us since we signed him, still remember selling Ruud and only buying Carrick that summer, thought Fergie was going insane but not a chance, we’ve been such a dominant force since, and yes we’ve had Ronaldo and Rooney and RVP doing the job upfront and winning us games but Carrick has no less been a super important playing for us. Cleverly was on fire before Davies did what Davies does do and took him out but that is 5 years ago, he has got to recapture that form by now, we can’t keep looking back at that as a reference point. The Carrick hate on here is astounding (the scouse loving brittish media trully has brainwashed the lot)

  18. iamMatty says:

    The cleverly injury was 3yrs ago mate not 5. Cleverly has had only 2full seasons with us and only 1 bad one. But then who wasnt bad in moyes’ comical only season as a united manager?
    You remember 20th? Cleverly played in all the big games we won that decided the title, he ran more than everybody, hassled more than anyone else but didnt get the plaudits cos we knew and expected more. Now my arguement is why didnt he give more? Simple cos covering up all the deficiences from carrick took away all his other instincts.
    Barring the 2007 season and last year, i cant remember carrick standing out in our midfield. He’s been more of a passive component most of his united career.
    You mentioned those midfielders but forgot to include the fact that they all play in 3man midfield systems. Pirlo has pogba/marchisio and vidal, busquets has xavi and iniesta, alonso had lucas and gerrard and now modric/kedira and dimaria. This is exactly my point, when you play a quaterback midfielder its always in a 3man mid, not in the 4-4-2/ 4-4-1 we have played in clevz stay in the first team. When its 2men mids, both players should be energetic, press high up the pitch and not sit back, leaving acres of grass for their partners to handle alone. We essentially demand clevz, ando or anyother person for that matter to do the jobs of a pogba and a vidal combined while carrick(the pirlo) sits back and shields the defence?. Aint that too much to expect from one single player? Not minding one thats only in his 2nd full season?

  19. iamMatty says:

    Btw i have never said carrick is an awful player, just said that i would never fancy becoming his partner in a midfield2.
    He’s like 32, completely immobile, never passes and moves(like clevz and ando did).
    He gets the ball from the defence, never pushes up to meet his midfield partner instead demands the partner drops deep to collect a side pass, now leaving the entire midfield centimeters away from our penalty box, thereby forcing rooney et al to drop deep into the midfield to get the ball.
    Carrick shouldnt even be considered if we are going to play a midfield two next season.
    Take a look at scholesy and keano, yaya toure and fernandinho, essien and ballack, bastian and martinez etc to understand how a midfield two was supposed to be.

  20. Marco Soares says:

    Yeah we don’t play a midfield 3 but we’ve always has hard working wide players (Park, Valencia) and hard working forwards (Rooney, Tevez) to compensate for that, you still need a Central Midfielder to collect the ball from deep positions to build up play and Carrick has always done it well for United, I think maybe one day when Carrick is no longer around then people might appreciate him more as a United player, you are corect Cleverly shot to prominence 3 years ago but he has stalled since, injury has played its part but to blame Carrick is crazy, most young players would benefit playing with a guy like Carrick, he has fantastic positional sense and great experience and he often plays ball to team mates feet to keep play flowing instead of the ‘Ol’ hollywood passes.

  21. Tommy says:


    Thats ridiculous mate, but does not surprise me one bit, SAF believed in youth back in 80s at Aberdeen, if he was inspired by anyone it was Jock Stein.


    you shoulnt be shocked when iamMatty says pathetic stuff like that mate, hes been doing it for months, the best player United have ever had Paul Scholes did not have great mobility

  22. Marco Soares says:

    @ Tommy

    Indeed Scholes was the best, absolute joy to watch, but it seems running around all day long is what players main attribute at United should be? although Carrick is nowhere near a level of Scholes, I just feel he is so greatly under appreciated

  23. Tommy says:


    Exactly mate, you dont get to play on a regular basis in a successful side if youre a bad player and to put Cleverleys failings on Carrick is just plain nonsence

  24. iamMatty says:

    Tommy you are a childish moron, but thats by the way.
    Scholes had no mobility, you brain dead idiot, how do you then explain the many goals he had from midfield?
    Cleverly’s failings?, its cos of dumb united fans like you that opposition fans get the ammunition to bash our players.
    But then again you are british, so trying to explain tactics to you would be a complete waste of my time and yours.
    But its still fact that the last time united played beautiful football and looked anything like their dominant old selves, a certain thomas cleverly and anderson held fort in the middle of the park.

  25. iamMatty says:

    @marco soares
    Our energetic wingers of the later days valencia et al were used to double up with the fullbacks, they rarely ever wandered into the middle of the park.
    This summarizes my point bro
    “You mentioned those midfielders but forgot to include the fact that
    they all play in 3man midfield systems. Pirlo has pogba/marchisio and
    vidal, busquets has xavi and iniesta, alonso had lucas and gerrard and
    now modric/kedira and dimaria. This is exactly my point, when you
    play a quaterback midfielder its always in a 3man mid, not in the
    4-4-2/ 4-4-1 we have played in clevz stay in the first team. When its
    2men mids, both players should be energetic, press high up the pitch
    and not sit back, leaving acres of grass for their partners to handle
    alone. We essentially demand clevz, ando or anyother person for that
    matter to do the jobs of a pogba and a vidal combined while carrick
    (the pirlo) sits back and shields the defence?. Aint that too much to
    expect from one single player? Not minding one thats only in his 2nd
    full season”

  26. Tommy says:

    @I am Matty

    Saying Scholes did not have great mobility is not saying his mobility is bad its just hes not the best I have ever seen on the mobility side of things, Yes because I am British thats means I dont understand tactics lol, not only are you racist but you call me a brain dead idiot which could be offensive to people on here with actual brain injuries. You really are classless

  27. iamMatty says:

    Hahahaha i have witnessed this before surely. Tommy throws the first jab then falls to the ground hoping for moral support.
    Tommy you have continously proved yourself a downright idiot in this blog, from you telling us that moyes deserves to be united manager for his british passport, to you telling us he will still be manager wether we liked it or not.
    You the same scum who told us all that tactics didnt matter in football and that players were to be blamed for everything…and that my friend is where the british tactics statement came from.
    Scholes did not have great mobility, then how do you explain him defending in one minute to tucking a cutback home in the next?
    You know the problem with you?
    You know fuck all about football, but feel the need to try and force down your opinions down everybody’s throat even when you got no logical explanation for what you believe in.
    Hope that rotten moyes egg in your face washes off before the resumption of the new season though.

  28. Tommy says:


    Hahahaha, ok Brian, 1. I have never said Moyes deserves to be United manager because he has a british passport, 2. I never said tactics dont matter, what i said is against weaker opposition at OT no matter what tactics the manager uses should be good enough, how is that saying tactics are not important. 3. If players dont put the required effort in then it is their fauly, Moyes made mistakes but some players let him down badly and if youre so against british people you cant see that more fool you. 4. Show me where im insulting Scholes for saying he wasnt the quickest player lol, he wasnt lightning quick thats a fact but that never effected him because hes by far the best player ive witnessed playing at OT and hes English, you must hate that since youre racist. 5. I know fuck all about football, OK if thats what makes you feel better, keep in mind ive watched more games than youve had hot dinners, you plastic fuck, go and support your local team instead of being a glory supporter and dont address me ive got no time for racist people

  29. iamMatty says:

    Hahahahaha glory supporter? That rotten moyes egg must really be itchy right now. You usually pull that card out when you are hurt.
    If telling you that you as the whole of the english FA, managers etc are tactically inept is racist, then sue me.
    How did you guys fare at the worldcup again? Hahahaha
    Support my local team? Uhmmmm with my money and the rest of the rest of the support from other united loving fans in asia, africa and america, you would be stuck somewhere in a pub having league table banters with petersbrough fan mate :)

  30. Tommy says:


    Why would I be hurt lol hurt what off, The hardcore fans are English, simple as that, that will never change. 76k every week in OT, how many do you reckon are foreign, id hazard a guess 5%maximum. If we were in the same league as Peterbourgh I would still be their weej in and week out, maybe it would get rid of some of the glory supporters. SAF, SMB, Jock Stein, Bill Shankley, Bob Paisley, Bill Nicolson, Bobby Robson, Brian Clough all British name me a natioon who has produced a collection of managers as impressive as the British

  31. steven jackson says:

    IamMatty: you know a lot about tactics. I just noticed it. Your points made a whole lot of sense. Carrick helped stalled cleverley’s development with his immobility bullshit. Carrick is not scholes, people here comparing carrick to scholes must be joking. Scholes had more ball retention and good passing technique. Scholes scores and assists. Please someone should remind me the number of assists or goals that carrick got last

  32. iamMatty says:

    @tommy, and so will i remain a united fan. Sadly it looks like you ar stuck with me for life. Mean old racist me. :D
    @steven jackson. Thanx sire. Atleast somebody put there pride and hate away seconds enough to read what i typed.

  33. Tommy says:


    Damn. thought I had done enough to scare you off


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