Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has defended Louis van Gaal, insisting that the veteran Dutchman deserves “respect” as he “is one of the most successful coaches in world football”.
Van Gaal has come under fire at Manchester United this season following a run of turgid performances from his side.
Man United recently went through an eight game unbeaten streak in all competitions and they have struggled to score goals for the majority of the campaign, although they played out a 3-3 draw against Newcastle United last time out. Klopp backed van Gaal in his pre-match press conference ahead of the clash between the two sides at Anfield on Sunday.
“Louis van Gaal is one of the most successful coaches in world football – he has his ideas on football and you have to respect this. We have to watch what we can find out and make a plan,” Klopp said.
“You will not win against Man United because you ran 145 miles or something. You have to make the right decisions. Of course you can be over-motivated. That’s possible. You don’t need to think too much about motivation in these games, but you need the balance. That’s what football is all about.
“If you don’t do the right thing in the moment, you have to run more. Mistakes, you can only solve with your legs. You have to defend well because they have brilliant players. Two days to go, we can prepare. We are different characters. [Van Gaal] is more experienced. Maybe I’m more lively on touchline than him.”
Van Gaal has enjoyed a long and successful career at the highest level but his methods don’t seem to be clicking at United and you get the sense that the club is stagnating under his leadership. A loss against Klopp’s Liverpool this weekend would ramp the pressure up on him and calls for him to be sacked would increase as a result.
Klopp has galvanised Liverpool but United have looked disinterested at times under van Gaal as of late. He needs a result against United’s fierce rivals.