• Premier League

Van Gaal has United players under video surveillance

ESPN staff
August 1, 2014
Louis van Gaal usually observes training from a distance © Getty Images

Manchester United's players have revealed there is nowhere for them to hide after Louis van Gaal started tracking them on video.

The new manager is said to have installed £500,000-worth of camera equipment at the club's Carrington training ground and has also been using detailed video analysis on their pre-season tour to the US.

"It is a lot more detailed at the training ground [now],'' United defender Jonny Evans said. "They have spent thousands on it and a few of the lads have seen HD cameras around the pitch.

Give me the job!

Phil Jones knows Louis van Gaal is looking to sign defenders © Getty Images
  • Manchester United's new manager Louis van Gaal may have admitted that he is trying to sign new defenders but Phil Jones claims he is ready to take a step up after Rio Ferdinand and nemanja Vidic left the club.
  • "Replacing those guys is ultimately what I want to be doing," he said. "Everyone is trying to impress and hopefully we can start the season off well. You've got to thrive on the challenge.
  • "We've lost two great defenders in Rio and Nemanja. But that's football. We've got good players to replace them and hopefully we can all step up and improve that."

"We have this system at the minute where he can watch us on the pitch. A lot of teams use it but we are looking into it in quite a lot of detail. He is saying 'you should be five yards to the right', we are able to see things that are happening live on the pitch.

"There are things you are doing on the pitch and the whole team will be feeling the same: you are thinking 'Am I in the right position?' Then he will show you in the video and you will know.

"That kind of scrutiny is new to every single player. The case before was that as long as we got the results everything was fine. David Moyes would have looked at videos a lot so we got a bit of that from last year. [Now] we are looking at things in detail.''

Van Gaal has quickly made his presence felt at United with a series of changes off and on the pitch. Away from the tactical and fitness work, he has ordered his players to speak English to each other and rectangular tables have been replaced by circular ones at meal times to encourage conversation.

He has also ordered new pitches and state of the art cameras to be installed at the training ground as well as having trees planted to try to restrict the impact of the wind.

United only won two of their pre-season games last year under Moyes, so it looks like Van Gaal's extensive preparation is already paying off.

In training, the Dutchman, arms crossed standing tall, usually observes from a distance. The only time he intervenes in drills is either when he praises someone with a thundering clap, a big pat on the back or a high-five, or when he disapproves of their efforts.

No player is immune to a dressing down in training - even when the session is conducted in front of thousands of fans, as has been the case throughout the tour, and they have been warned that adapting to his approach will be tough.

"The manager told us it was going to be difficult because he is demanding and he knows that himself,'' Evans, now in his eighth year at United, said. "He said we will find it hard mentally because he wants us all to push ourselves to the limit. That is what it feels like.

"That is the standard he has set for us. There are a lot of fine details to stick to but we all know that is the standard. It is everything from the clothes you wear to the time you have a meal and everyone eating together."

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