Louis van Gaal has fallen out with Di Maria, Valdes, Falcao, Rojo and Van Persie - that's 'too many players', says Gary Neville

Manchester United manager's style is under scrutiny

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The Independent Football

Gary Neville has expressed concern at Louis van Gaal's propensity to fall out with senior players at Manchester United.

Writing in his column for The Telegraph, the former Manchester United captain name-checked Angel Di Maria, Victor Valdes, Radamel Falcao, Marcos Rojo and Robin van Persie as exampled of those whose relations with the Manchester United manager had soured. Neville also said there were "others".

"I have real concerns that Louis van Gaal has fallen out with numerous players over the last year. Some of those players he actually brought in himself. Angel di Maria and Victor Valdes would be examples," he wrote. "Di Maria, Valdes, Falcao, Rojo, Van Persie – and there are others. That’s too many players to get on the wrong side of. These are not bad lads. So I’m slightly concerned that there is this iron fist being applied to players who I look at from personal experience and think: they’re quite good people. I know some of those lads, and they are what I would classify as really good professionals."


Neville's comments come at a time of reports of a mutiny at Old Trafford over his style, with his treatment of former right-back Rafael understood to have irked some players.

Ahead of Saturday's match against Liverpool, Van Gaal admitted that Michael Carrick and Wayne Rooney had come to speak to him earlier in the season. He said they were concerned the dressing room was "flat".

"So, Rooney and Carrick the captain came to me and said the dressing room is flat," said the Dutchman. "We want to say that to you because we want to help you. I communicate not only with my captains. I talk to the dressing room and communicate with my players. We have discussed a lot of aspects. What [aspects we subsequently] I cannot tell here - but they are not the aspects that some have written."

He added that he had a "superb relationship with my players".

Gary Neville

Neville compared Van Gaal's style with that of former manager Sir Alex Ferguson, offering it up as a potential explanation for the high level of fall-outs since the former Netherlands manager took charge.

"There seems to be an element of the iron fist with Van Gaal. For 25 years people talked of Sir Alex’s ‘hairdryer’ but Sir Alex had compassion, while Van Gaal tends to be colder in his dealings with players. It hardly bodes well when players are brought through the door by a manager who then discards or marginalises them."