Manchester United manager, Louis van Gaal has taken the time to praise two of his English players.
This season, Chris Smalling has been a revelation. His brutal defending, especially in 1 on 1 situations, have been match winning for United.
Ashley Young has also played a key role in the side, he may not have started many games this season, but he always puts in 100% and has 2 assists to his name so far this season.
Speaking to MUTV, the Dutch manager has had this to say about Ashley Young:
“Ashley Young is very important,”
“He is a team player and not many players are actually team players.”
“He is always thinking of the team, and he can play in a lot of positions. For a manager it is fantastic that he is willing to do that.”
“He came in as a right-back, he hadn’t played there so much I believe, but the second goal started with him.”
Chris Smalling hit a career low last season, when he picked up two yellow cards in the first half of the Manchester derby, and he was criticised by the Dutch coach for being so clumsy.
Since seeing red, the English defender has improved his game with each appearance; he’s even managed to knock in few goals along the way.
But van Gaal takes no credit for Smalling’s superb rise to regular first team action; he says it’s down to his hard work and dedication:
“I think that the player, when he does things, he does it always by himself.”
“I help him with advice, also with training sessions, demands, showing images to improve him, but he has to be open and he has to perform on the pitch.”
“So he does everything himself. It is the greatest compliment you can give to Chris, and not me.”
“As a player you need vacancies in positions, and when it is your position, you have more luck. That is always the same in football clubs.”
Louis van Gaal’s team have played 6 games in the last 18 days and he admits that his players are tired; also they’ve been given the day off from training, in preparation of the Arsenal game on Sunday:
“The solution is recovery,”
“That is why it is so difficult to prepare for the match against Arsenal.
“As a manager you want to prepare on the [training] pitch, but you cannot do it [now] because you need the players to be fresh.”
“The other solution is to change your squad, so we have to see the evaluation from the fatigue specialist, but I cannot tell that yet.”
“The players have a day off on Friday, so we will have to wait and see on Saturday, then I can make decisions.”
Manchester United start to defend their top spot in the Premier League this weekend, away to Arsenal.