Louis van Gaal feels his success is built on a philosophy of “attacking football”, something he says will leave Paul Scholes feeling “very angry”.
Scholes has been a vocal critic of Van Gaal’s perceived defensive style at Manchester United, with the club legend and current manager exchanging comments throughout the season.
However, in discussing his philosophy at an LMA managerial conference, Van Gaal has insisted that the groundwork for his success was “very attacking football” at Ajax.
“When you see my press conferences, I’m discussing a lot my philosophy,” Van Gaal said. “Sometimes, the media is not very proud of it. But, sometimes, they are firmly crazy for it because I explain a lot.
“It takes always a little bit of time to transfer the message. I’m training in the brain – a lot of things in the brain – because football is not a sport of legs, it is a sport of brain, and tactics. So, that takes a lot of time.
“All the players have to sustain that process and that’s not easy. Praise is better than to be negative, it is true. But, sometimes, I’m sorry, you have to be negative also.”
Van Gaal then turned his attentions to his iconic Ajax side of the mid 1990’s, adding: “We didn’t have any money and we were bankrupt, so I had to look to youth.
“We scouted [Jari] Litmanen, a Finnish player, who we bought for £10,000. We also bought Finidi George. He was a Nigerian international. He was £3,000. I paid it by myself! And then, we bought Marc Overmars.
“But the names that you do remember are [Clarence] Seedorf, [Patrick] Kluivert, [Michael] Reiziger. We won everything with very attacking football. I don’t say it too much because otherwise Mr Scholes will be very angry!”