Louis van Gaal has revealed a fascinating insight into his managerial style, philosophy and long career in a new 90-minute documentary for MUTV.
The Manchester United manager, 63, has looked back at his long career for the club's in-house TV channel in a programme that aired on Monday night titled 'Louis van Gaal: My Life. My Philosophy'.
The Dutch coach appears with a host of current and former players including Manchester United pair Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie, as well as Barcelona legend Xavi and former Ajax star Ronald de Boer.
Looking back at his own playing career, Van Gaal admitted his failure at hometown club Ajax helped him to become a better manager and a smarter thinker - having spent his youth at the Amsterdam club he never made a single appearance for the first-team, moving around Belgium and the Netherlands in an unheralded career.
Manchester United's best XI of the season so far
Manchester United's best XI of the season so far
1/11 David De Gea - 6.77
Never any doubt that the Spanish stopper would be in goal. Been brilliant this season.
2/11 Antonio Valencia - 7.24
Injuries have seen the former Wigan player deployed at right-back for much of the season and he comes out on top among the possible options.
3/11 Phil Jones - 7.46
Manchester United's defence was much derided at the start of the campaign but Jones has played a major role in silencing the critics and actually scores the highest of all Manchester United's players.
4/11 Chris Smalling - 7.34
Alongside Jones is Smalling - another who's appeared more assured as the campaign has progressed. That centre-back pairing sees Jonny Evans and Paddy McNair miss out.
5/11 Marcos Rojo - 7.30
The Argentina international has begun to show why the club forked out £16m and allowed Nani to go to Sporting Lisbon to bring him to Old Trafford. Rojo scores much higher than his most direct competitor for the left-back berth, £27m signing Luke Shaw (6.80).
6/11 Ander Herrera - 7.24
The summer signing from Athletic Bilbao has shown an eye for goal as well as a pass this season, which is why despite playing less than Juan Mata (6.86), he snatches the right-sided midfielder position.
7/11 Marouane Fellaini - 7.34
Despite being mocked in some circles for his rough and ready style following his move from Everton, under Louis van Gaal, Fellaini has shown just how effective he can be which is why he claims a central midfield berth.
8/11 Daley Blind - 7.30
Alongside Fellaini is Netherlands international Blind, who scores higher than the alternative central midfielder, Michael Carrick (7.05).
9/11 Ashley Young - 7.22
Despite an outlay of £59.7m on Angel Di Maria, it is former Watford and Aston Villa player Ashley Young who has done more to justify a place on the left side of midfield so far this season. After a lively start, Di Maria's performances have dipped alarmingly, leaving him with a score of 7.18.
10/11 Wayne Rooney - 7.36
The captain has been consistent throughout the season, despite being shifted from one position to another by an indecisive Van Gaal. Rates as Manchester United's second best player this season after Jones.
11/11 Robin van Persie - 7.21
Despite a stop-start season hit by injuries and exclusion from the team, Van Persie still scores much higher than on-loan Colombian Radamel Falcao (6.78), meaning the Dutchman claims the second striker position and completes the best XI of the season so far.
"I was a slow player so I had to think very quickly," he says. "That's why I developed a tactical level that suits me now as a trainer coach."
During the programme Van Gaal speaks at length about his philosophy and revealed that the players are finally getting to grips with it - comparing it to learning to drive on the 'wrong' side of the road in England for the first time.
"I attack in four phases and I defend in four phases and I think the players know everything about the philosophy but now they have to perform," he said.
"'It's like somebody coming to England like Louis van Gaal who has to drive with the steering at the other side.
"You have to learn that. I could have forced many accidents but I was fortunate I didn't do that. I was lucky but it was always going better so I don't have to warn people in my neighbourhood!'"
United striker Van Persie said to play for the Dutchman fitness is the first priority.
"To play for him you have to be really fit," said the striker. "What he asks from players is not what other coaches ask from other players.
"He can be emotional and that's what I like. Everyone can have a good day or a bad day and he's no different."
United captain Wayne Rooney added:"I think he is someone you can trust. That's a really good quality."
Van Gaal handed his debut to Barcelona captain Xavi when he was still a teenager - the Spanish legend says Van Gaal was unfairly treated at the Nou Camp.
"He pushed me into the first team at 17," said Xavi. "He helped me so much through that difficult journey. In my opinion he did not get the credit he deserved at Barcelona.
"He was a coach who was ahead of his time."
Speaking about Manchester United, Van Gaal has been hugely impressed with the support he has received, especially during his tough start to the campaign.
"The first feeling I had was especially after 11 matches when we had 13 points and I came in the stadium and I thought the fans shall not be pleased," he said. "The fans rose and clapped me when I entered. Now I see the greatness of the club."
Manchester United face Aston Villa at home on Saturday.
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