Mata enjoying life under Louis

Juan Mata says Manchester United's players are thriving on Louis van Gaal's straight-talking approach.

Last Updated: 26/07/14 at 10:50 Post Comment

Louis van Gaal is implementing changes at Old Trafford and says every day there

Louis van Gaal is implementing changes at Old Trafford and says every day there

More of the games that matter

2 years free Sky Broadband Unlimited for Sky Sports customers

The new United manager has already made an impression in his short time in the job, trying out a new 3-5-2 system and even challenging the club on their commercial policy.

And the Dutchman's latest edict is that players should speak to each other in English.

"We only speak in English," said Mata, speaking on the club's tour of the United States. "He (van Gaal) says we have to speak in English.

"He is very good on and off the pitch. He is a good man and a great manager.

"He has a lot of experience; he has won trophies in previous teams too, so it's a good chance for me to learn from him and for us to improve as a team.

"He is demanding. He is very honest, straight, speaks with everyone to his face. I think this is good, a perfect way to do it, saying what you think about the players in front of them."

The Spaniard had the unfortunate experience of watching from the bench as van Gaal’s Netherlands team beat Spain 5-1 in their opening game of the Brazil World Cup this summer.

"That game was very, very bad for us," said Mata. "They scored five goals against Spain so he did a great job."

It was during the later stages of the World Cup that van Gaal first implemented a 3-5-2 to great success, and his first experiment with the formation at United yielded a 7-0 win over LA Galaxy this week.

Mata believes the new system could mean a chance to play in his favoured position behind the strikers, a role in which he twice won Chelsea's Player of the Year award.

United's record signing at times looked less assured on the wing under David Moyes, and he said: "If I play behind the two strikers it's a good position (for me). I can look for the ball, I can try to assist or score, so I will try my best.

"I will try to score as much as I can and try to help the team from that position.”

Tom Cleverley is also welcoming the changes brought in by the new boss.

The midfielder, who got two hefty pats on the back from van Gaal as he sat by him during the pre-match press conference ahead of a friendly against Roma, said: "I watched Holland in the World Cup and I think I can be his type of player.

"I have to show that in training and most importantly in the games. I think there is a place for me. I have to prove that."

The players are enjoying learning from someone they respect. Looking forward to seeing Mata and Herrera dazzle, and Cleverley getting a chance to shine in his better position. Maybe even Fellaini can do us a job. Still concerned about Nani and Young. We need to shift them and Hernandez, and get some other central defenders. Evans, Smalling and Jones are three great young lads, and they deserve the chance to lead it, but they have all been injured a lot. One main and one young would be fine. Doria should be one of them...
- badwolf

More of the games that matter

2 years free Sky Broadband Unlimited for Sky Sports customers

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments


e deserved respect for forging a successful football career despite being, clearly, made from balsa wood.

Wenger: Diaby deserves respect


iverpool should put in a bid for Barkley. As cheeky as it may sound, only he looks capable enough to replace Gerrard.

Gerrard's Decay Becoming Sadly Apparent


y emotions were not mixed. Super professional that he is. I will never look at you the same way Frank. Love affair over.

Lampard: Mixed emotions

Footer 365

Capital One Cup Live

Live updates from the Capital One Cup third round as well as the latest news and views from the world of sport.

Scottish football: Former Celtic striker John Divers has died aged 74

Former Celtic striker John Divers has died. He was 74.

Mauricio Pochettino wants Tottenham to be positive against Nottingham Forest

Mauricio Pochettino feels Tottenham need to change their mentality after the defeat by West Brom.

Mail Box

Is Moyes The Big Winner This Season?

Man United and Everton are making David Moyes look good enough for Newcastle. We have lots of mails on Steven Gerrard but mostly Man United and Van Gaal...

Should Gerrard Play Further Forward?

That's one shout in a mailbox that recalls Rafa Benitez saying the Liverpool man would one day end up as a striker. Plus, thoughts on Rooney and 500 words on Ipswich...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property