The man hotly tipped to become the next Manchester United manager – Louis van Gaal – has revealed that he discusses tactics with his Holland captain Robin van Persie.
That in itself is not much of a story. After all, given the United striker’s position in his national team, why wouldn’t the manager talk about such things with him. But van Gaal’s latest quotes give a hint that he could also bend van Persie’s ear when it comes to tactics at club level if – as expected – he becomes the next permanent manager at Old Trafford.
In quotes published by De Telegraaf, van Gaal revealed that he involved both van Persie and Arjen Robben in such things.
“They help you to think more,” the 62-year-old said. “But they may not get involved in the selection policy; that would be unwise.”
But what perhaps makes those quotes most interesting is when you consider them in light of what van Persie said earlier this season.
Speaking after United’s 2-0 defeat away to Olympiakos in the Champions League, the striker was quoted as saying, “It was quite difficult because my teammates are often in the area where I want to play.
“That’s why I have to change my tactics. Unfortunately they are often in my area.”
Van Gaal and van Persie are close friends and much has already been written about their excellent relationship in light of the managerial rumours.
But if the latter does speak to the former about tactics, one wonders if he will do the same if van Gaal arrives at United, and if he will ensure those same teammates are no longer occupying the areas in which van Persie wants to play.