Louis van Gaal instructs Manchester United players to 'only speak in English', reveals Juan Mata

Mata describes Van Gaal as a 'good man and a great manager' after his arrival at Old Trafford

Louis van Gaal has told his players they must only speak to each other in English, Juan Mata has revealed.

Van Gaal has laid down a few rules since taking over at Manchester United.

The Dutchman has reminded his players they must fulfil their media duties and has told the United board that next year's pre-season tour must be shorter.

And now it has emerged that Van Gaal has instructed his squad to speak to one another in English, presumably to improve unity in the ranks.

"We (the squad) only speak in English," Mata said.

"He (Van Gaal) says we have to speak in English."

Mata, who is perfectly fluent in English having arrived in the UK three years ago, does not see the new rule, or any other laid down by the new manager, as harsh.

 

In fact, the Spaniard has a deep respect for his new club manager, and is fully behind everything he is doing at Old Trafford.

"He is very good on and off the pitch. He is a good man and a great manager," Mata said.

"He has a lot of experience, he has won trophies in previous teams too, so it's a good chance for me to learn from him and for us to improve as a team.

"He is demanding. He is very honest, straight, speaks with everyone to his face. I think this is good, a perfect way to do it, saying what you think about the players in front of them."

Read more: Van Gaal confirms interest in Strootman
United can win, and Rooney wants to be captain
Five things we've learnt about Van Gaal
Vidal deals United transfer blow

Mata's respect for his new manager increased six weeks ago when he witnessed at first hand Van Gaal's Holland hammer Spain 5-1 in the World Cup.

"That game was very, very bad for us," said Mata, who watched on from the bench.

"They scored five goals against Spain so he did a great job."

Van Gaal plans to implement the 3-5-2 formation he used in the latter stages of the World Cup at United this season.

That is good news for Mata, who is the perfect candidate to play in the hole behind two strikers.

Mata enjoyed two successful years at Chelsea in that position, winning the club's player of the year award on both occasions.

But under David Moyes, Mata was often stationed on the right wing, where he did not look comfortable at all.

The former Valencia midfielder hopes Van Gaal's new system will bring the best out of him.

"If I play behind the two strikers it's a good position (for me)," he said.

"I can look for the ball, I can try to assist or score, so I will try my best.

"I will try to score as much as I can and try to help the team from that position.

"If I have to play on the wing I will try my best as well but I feel comfortable in this role."

Juan Mata and Wayne Rooney pictured on Manchester United's pre-season tour Juan Mata and Wayne Rooney pictured on Manchester United's pre-season tour United have adapted to the new formation straight away, beating the Los Angeles Galaxy 7-0 in Van Gaal's first game in charge on Wednesday night.

And Mata hopes the system will be just as effective in the Premier League.

"It can be very dangerous for the opponent. It is difficult for them to play against us in this formation," he said.

Finishing seventh last year is an experience Mata will never forget, even though he was only at the club for the last four months of the season.

The Spaniard is aiming for the highest finish possible this term.

"Last season was my first season in England without trophies so hopefully this new season I will be back to win something," said Mata, who will play against his former club Valencia at Old Trafford on August 12.

"The Premier League is a trophy I have never won so it would be a dream for me.

"Ever since I was young Manchester United was winning trophies or fighting for them so that is what we have to do.

"We have great players, a great manager. We have to go step by step but Man United always play for winning."

PA

Suggested Topics
News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
News
news
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
New Articles
i100... with this review
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
Sport
footballTim Sherwood: This might be th match to wake up Manchester City
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
New Articles
i100
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
News
Blahnik says: 'I think I understand the English more than they do themselves'
people
Arts and Entertainment
Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey
TVInside Downton Abbey series 5
Life and Style
The term 'normcore' was given the oxygen of publicity by New York magazine during the autumn/winter shows in Paris in February
fashionWhen is a trend a non-trend? When it's Normcore, since you ask
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam