Wayne Rooney request a sign of tension in dressing room over Louis van Gaal style, says Rio Ferdinand  

  • Manchester United begin Champions League campaign away to PSVRio 
  • Ferdinand move to Old Trafford for £32million in 2002
  • United forward Adnan Januzaj has sent out on loan to Borussia Dortmund 


Rob Draper for The Mail on Sunday

16:36 EST, 12 September 2015

20:49 EST, 12 September 2015



When Wayne Rooney and Michael Carrick asked Louis van Gaal to loosen his training regime and reduce the team meetings, the tension in the dressing room had been building for at least six months.

One source says the players felt ‘strangled’ by Van Gaal’s training, with its focus on positional discipline. Last season they were confused by the Van Gaal ‘philosophy’, as the formation switched between a back four and a back three, sometimes with out-and-out wingers, sometimes as a 4-2-3-1.

For those associated with the Sir Alex Ferguson years, it is hard to stomach. ‘Don’t go there expecting to see free-flowing, attacking, gung-ho football,’ said Rio Ferdinand.

‘If they’re losing 1-0 in the 89th minute, don’t expect them to get the ball wide and cross it into the strikers. There’s none of that happening.’

Players who don’t meet Van Gaal’s strict criteria have been jettisoned, such as Angel di Maria and Adnan Januzaj, now on loan at Borussia Dortmund, which Ferdinand regards as another step away from United’s roots.

‘Januzaj is a wonderfully talented kid,’ added Rio. ‘He is one that is a Man United player. He wants to take players on, he plays with a little bit of fairytale and imagination. He can stand someone up and beat anyone in the world, I’m telling you that. But Van Gaal has not seen him as the right man for his team.

‘But again, with Van Gaal’s teams, if you look at what Angel di Maria said when he left, it’s the other way of playing. His way was open, free-flowing and off-the-cuff and you couldn’t do that in Van Gaal’s team.

United forward Adnan Januzaj has sent out on loan to Borussia Dortmund on transfer deadline day 

‘If they get their hands on the FA Cup and finish second, you can see that is an improvement.’

But after spending just under £300 million, some might be expecting a little more than that.




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