During the long interview he offered to El Pais, Louis van Gaal also praised Pep Guardiola’s impressive run in the English Premier League.
Louis van Gaal’s comments about Lionel Messi and Neymar weren’t the only ones worth mentioning from that interview, he also analyzed Pep Guardiola.
The Dutch manager spoke about several tactical topics with journalist Diego Torres for El Pais, he discussed football history and the current clubs that he enjoys the most.
In the extended piece, Van Gaal spoke about the legacy that Rinus Michels left as a manager and how his own style differs from ‘Total Football’.
But one of the most compelling statements from the whole interview was when he analyzed Pep Guardiola’s time in English football.
The Dutchman compared the Citizens’ manager with Erik ten Hag from AFC Ajax.
Van Gaal didn’t hesitate to praise Pep and even talk about his previous exploits in Spanish football as the FC Barcelona coach.
But what surprised Louis the most from Pep is his recent results in the Premier League, he believes that Guardiola’s achievement of winning there is quite unique.
Not all the managers who conquer England do it by playing overwhelmingly offensive football.
The structure that Guardiola has with his squad at the moment is very meticulous, something that Van Gaal truly appreciates.
🗣 Louis Van Gaal:
“Guardiola won it [Champions League] with Barcelona because he had Messi and because he didn’t let Messi play in his own way. That’s the difference.
— City Xtra (@City_Xtra) June 24, 2019
“Practicing attacking football is something that the general public tends to enjoy,” said Louis during the interview.
“Guardiola’s achievements in England are similar to Ajax this season, but less chaotic. Manchester City is a much more structured team.”
“Pep is a structured man and his players must do what he thinks all the time. With Ten Hag, the players have permission to execute things that veer slightly away from what he requests.”
“With City, you can only see Pep Guardiola’s hand. Winning all the titles for two consecutive years playing offensive football in England is a unique achievement.”
“This winning streak is easier to reach if you defend and play on the counter-attack. Mourinho won many titles playing defensive football.”
“The biggest challenge is winning the Champions League with Guardiola’s ideas. He won it with FC Barcelona because he had Messi and he didn’t let him play in his own style.”
“That is the biggest difference. Messi is the one who adjusted to Guardiola’s plans, not the other way around.”
“Guardiola tends to achieve the most difficult thing of all: making the players move in the exact direction at the right moment.”
“In order to achieve something like that, you need to create a full language, a certain team spirit, a community.”
“Just look at Sergio Aguero. He played for himself all the time until Guardiola changed him and now he moves at the right moment. That is the art of coaching,” he concluded.
"El gran desafío es ganar la Champions con la idea de Guardiola"
Louis Van Gaal en entrevista con el Diaro El Pais. Muy recomendada.https://t.co/jlPzHTyRWr
— A un Toque (@_AUnToque) June 25, 2019
Van Gaal will never reach Guardiola’s level.
The type of talent that Louis van Gaal has is different from Guardiola’s, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t a great manager in his own right.
The Dutchman did revolutionize several tactical ideas when he coached AFC Ajax during the ’90s decade.
He moved away from that orthodox ‘Total Football’ idea and managed to implement a modernized version of the same philosophy.
The man won the Champions League in the mid-’90s and reached the finals stages of the competition several times.
However, Louis van Gaal’s greatest talent lies in his scouting skills. This is one of the coaches who spawned the largest number of generations from several big clubs throughout Europe.
It’s a bummer he decided to retire already, getting his input for some of the clubs that are currently under construction would be very helpful at the moment.
Louis van Gaal might not have a giant trophy room like Guardiola or Mourinho, but he will go down in history as one of the greatest managers who ever lived for different reasons.
Also, his skill to analyze different football philosophies is quite unique. Reading the whole interview he offered and just watching him talk shop is always a rewarding experience.
Louis van Gaal, sobre Xavi Hernández, en @el_pais: “Xavi era capaz de encontrar la segunda o la tercera estación en el desarrollo de la jugada. Guardiola era de esta especie, pero Xavi le mejoró. Xavi está entre los mejores futbolistas de todos los tiempos”. pic.twitter.com/IwillzskSY
— Juan Ugena (@juanugena_) June 24, 2019
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