Manchester United defender Marcos Rojo admits that he was initially scared of Louis van Gaal and his “bulldog face”.
In a week that has seen stories emerge of players at United being ‘exasperated by the manager’s methods’ (Daily Telegraph) because of his heavy use of video analysis and heavy-handed treatment of players like Rafael, Rojo has actually described the Dutchman as a “great person”.
Wayne Rooney and Michael Carrick have reportedly approached Van Gaal and asked him to soften his style amidst reports that players were becoming tired of long video sessions.
“He has a bulldog face, but he is great guy,” Rojo told Fox Sports Argentina. “He’s scary at first, but when you get to know him and relate to him on daily basis, you get along. But only if you listen to him.
“He has a really strong personality, but he is a great person. He listens to us, and even speaks a little bit of Spanish, so he always takes me to his office for a pep talk.”
Rojo is yet to feature for Van Gaal’s side this season but is now ready to return after a groin injury. He has denied Diego Forlan’s suggestion that the Dutchman has a problem with South American players.
“The fact that he holds a bad relationship with South American player is just a feeling [opinion],” Rojo added.
“I’ve been there with [Antonio] Valencia, [Radamel] Falcao, Angel [Di Maria] and he treated us all the same, he never treated us differently.
“Maybe because of his [poor] relationship with Roman [Riquelme] or with Angel leaving, some people got the wrong idea, but he treats us all the same. He is a great person and makes no differences between Europeans and South Americans.”