Louis van Gaal does “nothing” as Manchester United manager but earns a lot because the most important job for a top-level coach is delegating responsibilities to his staff.
Speaking at the League Managers Association (LMA) annual management conference on Wednesday, Van Gaal touched upon his philosophy, describing himself as an innovator who pioneered modern coaching methods.
“Feedback is very important… But I have to say that because when I don’t say that then I’m arrogant,” Van Gaal was quoted as saying by the Daily Telegraph.
“I am also an innovator and I have changed a lot in terms of preparing for games. I was the first coach who was with a notebook. Now everybody is with a notebook. I was the first coach who used video,” he added.
“I’m from a time where you (the manager) did everything. Now I’m the manager and I have a sports science department, I have a scouting department, I have a medical department, I have assistant managers, I have assistant coaches.
“I don’t do anything… nothing! I delegate. I delegate and I earn a lot of money.”
Former United midfielder Paul Scholes has been one of Van Gaal’s most vocal critics this season, accusing the team of lacking creativity and playing “boring” football.
United are fourth in the table, two points adrift of leaders Manchester City, and went through a run of three back-to-back goalless draws in October.
They have scored fewer league goals (17) than any side in the top six but also boast the meanest defence, having conceded just eight in the league.
Van Gaal defended himself against claims that his team cannot play attacking football, citing his time in charge of Dutch side Ajax Amsterdam as proof that his teams learn how to attack once they absorb the basic tenets of his philosophy.
“We (Ajax) won everything with very attacking football. I don’t say it too much because otherwise Mr Scholes will be very angry!” the Dutchman said with a laugh.
“When you see my press conferences, I’m discussing a lot my philosophy.
“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.”