Controversial fitness coach highly critical of Louis van Gaal - here's why

Raymond Verheijen has praised Manchester United boss LvG as an elite-level manager but believes there is one glaring flaw in his methods.

With the start of the Premier League season just two days away, Manchester United are already atop another league - the injury league - as, with seven injuries, United share first place with Liverpool and Newcastle United.

Antonio Valencia has a leg problem, Jonny Evans suffered a knock, Danny Welback sustained a knee injury, Rafael occupies the physio room with a groin complaint, Anderson reported a calf issue, Michael Carrick has a foot injury while Luke Shaw is hamstrung.

Five of Manchester United's seven current injuries are muscular and it is the last one, Shaw's, that perhaps could have been prevented, as implied by fitness coach Raymond Verheijen.

On what he has dubbed "pre season incompetence", Verheijen said: "In international football there are only a few real top coaches, Louis van Gaal is clearly one of them and his is a great appointment by Manchester United.

"What van Gaal also proves is that top coaches are not perfect. Even the world’s best coaches have deficiencies within their overall top approach."

While Verheijen believes that van Gaal is an elite-level tactician, he believes his "planning and periodisation" is lacking due to "double sessions and muscular injuries."

He said: "During the World Cup preparation, the Dutch players had to do frequent double sessions, so not surprisingly the muscle injuries accumulated - Rafael Van der Vaart (calf), de Guzman (hamstring), Robin Van Persie (groin), Leroy Fer (hamstring), Nigel de Jong (groin) and Wesley Sneijder (hamstring) amongst other muscle injuries.

"At Man United, in the first few weeks, van Gaal has applied the same approach and, as expected, with the same result: accumulation of injuries.

"The Luke Shaw case is the climax of Manchester United’s predictable pre-season injury crisis due to 'too much training too soon'.

"Chapter 1: Luke Shaw cuts his three week off season short and already returns back to training after two weeks. Who’s idea was this?

"Chapter 2: LVG shows his disappointment about Luke Shaw lack of fitness.

"Chapter 3: Luke Shaw has to do extra training to get fit. Who was in charge of his individual program?

"Chapter 4: Luke Shaw picks up a hamstring injury and will be out for at least 4 weeks."

Concluding, Verheijen said: "van Gaal’s coaching skills and tactical superiority often compensate for this periodisation deficiency but there is clearly room for improvement.

"But who is gonna tell a top coach that he has to raise his bar in a certain area? The 'yes-men' in his coaching staff? Journalists? Who…?"

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