Louis van Gaal’s ‘strict’ playing style savaged by Morgan Schneiderlin

Former Manchester United midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin has hit out against his old manager Louis Van Gaal, claiming the Dutchman restricted his creativity on the pitch.

Van Gaal signed Schneiderlin in 2015 for £20million but says he moved to Old Trafford for the prestige of the club, not the manager. 

Schneiderlin said Van Gaal’s ‘strict’ coaching style prevented him from playing with his ‘gut’ and in turn damaged his confidence. Subsequently, the midfielder left United just 18 months after signing, having only made 32 league appearances and provided one goal. 

 Morgan Schneiderlin has hit out against his former Manchester United boss Louis Van Gaal

Schneiderlin claims Van Gaal’s coaching style was too ‘strict’ and restricted their freedom


Speaking of his decision to join Manchester United, Schneiderlin explained how he spoke with Van Gaal but it was in fact the appeal of the club that made him put pen to paper.

He told The Athletic: ‘He [Van Gaal] wanted me too but we had less connection on the phone. So I signed more for the football club, Manchester United, than the manager.’  

The 30-year-old later admitted that Van Gaal’s tactical instructions were too restrictive, and ultimately prevented United from playing with freedom. 

He said United played with a ‘style which was too strict. We were told: “When you have the ball you have to do this” instead of playing with my gut like I had done with Pochettino and Koeman. 

Schneiderlin says Van Gaal damaged his confidence and the he was unable to listen to his gut

Schneiderlin used to complain to his wife about his lack of freedom and says it still hurts now

‘The worse thing for a football player is when you think too much. I started to think: “Ah, the manager wants me to do this” You lose your instinct, your start to force things, you miss passes, you arrive too late for a challenge. Your confidence goes down.’

Despite being regularly selected under Van Gaal, Schneiderlin – along with the likes of Memphis Depay, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Matteo Darmian – failed to hit the heights expected of him under the Dutchman’s leadership.   

The Frenchman, however, has refused to take responsibility for his performances and has instead pointed the blame at Van Gaal.  

‘I would play a very good game and then a very bad game. I wasn’t confident enough. I started to complain to my wife. It hurts me even now that I couldn’t play freely at United,’ he said.

‘The pressure of the club was no problem to me. I like pressure, I need pressure and adrenaline. The fans were good to me in the street. The problem was me because I knew I had so much to give but I couldn’t give it because I felt restricted.’

‘Looking back, I shouldn’t have been so upset, but at the time that’s how it was. You had to wait until the manager told you that you could eat. These things work when the players are 19 and 20, but not when you have older players.’

 Schneiderlin left Manchester United for Everton 18 months after signing in 2015 for £20m

 He has since joined Nice after making 88 appearances and scoring one goal for the Toffees

Following Van Gaal’s dismissal, Schneiderlin was allowed to leave United to join Everton in January for £20m by his successor Jose Mourinho.   

Schneiderlin has, however, now left Everton for Nice in a deal worth £2million just three years after he arrived at Goodison Park. 

Schneiderlin made 88 appearances and scored just one goal for the Toffees during his time at the club. 


Read more:

  • Schneiderlin: You should do everything to succeed at United but I was impatient – The Athletic

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