Juan Mata has revealed that the “really direct and honest” Louis van Gaal was “angry” after Sunday’s defeat to Arsenal.
Manchester United were destroyed by the Gunners in the opening 20 minutes at the Emirates, leading to reports that the players were ‘baffled’ by Van Gaal’s tactics.
Mata – talking to Spanish radio station Cadena Ser – said: “After that game on Sunday, Van Gaal was angry, so to speak, but I get on really well with him.
“He is as you see him in the press conferences – a really direct and honest person, which are qualities you can appreciate.
“He says what he has to say to your face, whether it’s good or bad. I like him as a coach. I like my managers to be good people and he is.”
Mata also defended Rafa Benitez against accusations of defensive tactics.
“I don’t consider him to be a defensive coach – he’s methodical, strategic and prepares for matches very well,” he said.
“When a Benitez team has to attack, they throw everything into it. He is a manager that lives for football.
“I had a very good relationship with him. When he was Chelsea manager I had my best year and he gave me a lot of confidence.”