herald

Monday 11 December 2017

van gaal isn't scary he is just honest - blind

Daley Blind thinks Louis van Gaal's brutally honest ways will help him become a much better player.

With all the focus on Angel di Maria and Radamel Falcao, Blind's contribution to Manchester United's 4-0 win over QPR on Sunday largely flew under the radar.

The Holland international, who moved to Old Trafford from Ajax on deadline day, easily slotted into the United starting XI.

The 24-year-old, operating at the base of a midfield diamond, dictated the high tempo demanded by manager Van Gaal and also broke up QPR's attacking play on the rare occasions they made it over the halfway line.

Blind knows Van Gaal well from their time together with the Dutch national team. From the outside the former Holland coach seems a blunt, authoritarian figure, but Blind says the 63-year-old is just an honest man who should not be criticised for giving his opinions in a straightforward manner.

"He is not frightening - he is just honest," Blind said. "That can be frightening, but I like it.

"He is very honest to everybody. He knows what he wants and he knows his philosophy.

"He can bring that to the players and he can make a team with everybody in.

"I have really learned a lot from Van Gaal and I like working under him.

"He has helped me a lot and I hope to continue learning from him.

"I think he can make me a better player in terms of positioning, where to stand and tactics in games because midfield is an important position to play and I hope I can get better at it every day."

Van Gaal handed Blind his Holland debut in February 2013 and he became a regular in the national team through to the World Cup finals, where the Oranje finished third.

SUCCESS

Van Gaal attributed Holland's success to a strong team spirit within the camp, and he has set about trying to establish a similar sense of unity within a United squad which contains six new signings.

"Everybody wants to fight for each other and I think we saw that in the QPR game," Blind said.

"Everyone wants to give the ball to each other. I like to play in this squad.

"When I came here there was a really warm welcome and I felt directly good in the team.

Radamel Falcao hopes to bag his first Premier League goal against Leicester next weekend after drawing a blank on his United debut.

Angel di Maria, Ander Herrera, Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata brought the Old Trafford crowd to their feet on Sunday with their goals.

But the biggest cheer of the afternoon was reserved for Falcao when he came off the bench in the 67th minute.

The Colombian striker, who moved to United in a dramatic deadline-day switch from Monaco, was delighted to turn out for his new club for the first time.

"It felt good to make my debut at Old Trafford," he said.

"It is an extraordinary stadium, a legendary stadium and I am happy to get the win. I will enjoy this moment."

Fifteen minutes after making his grand entrance, Falcao almost scored United's fifth.

Robert Green spilled Daley Blind's drive and Falcao raced into the box to follow-up, but the QPR goalkeeper recovered just in time to block the former Porto man's shot.

Falcao was overwhelmed by the reception the home fans gave him on his debut. "I want to say thank you to the fans. I enjoyed the welcome a lot. It was fantastic," he said

"I almost scored. The goalkeeper was good. I hope to score the next game."

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