Angel Di Maria has opened up about the row with Louis van Gaal which spelled the beginning of the end of his Manchester United career.
The Argentine arrived in the summer of 2014 for a British world transfer fee of £59.7m and enjoyed an encouraging start, scoring two goals and claiming two assists in his opening four matches.
Things very quickly fell apart after that: injury worries, an unsettled home life in Manchester, poor form, poor results, playing out of position, Ashley Young starting ahead of him. Nobody was surprised when he joined PSG after just one year at Old Trafford.
Speaking in a recent interview, Di Maria shed light on how a video session with Van Gaal led a confrontation which indefinitely poisoned their relationship.
Di Maria and Man United – or at least Van Gaal’s Man United – felt like orange juice and toothpaste. They just did not work together. South Americans in general have a poor record at Old Trafford. And a South American whose game revolves around dribbling, playing for a manager who hates dribbling, was a marriage made in the flames of hell.
So there were, from the start, fundamental problems, but the video analysis was what pushed Di Maria over the edge. It is indeed no secret how Van Gaal, more than most managers, forced his players to watch endless footage of their mistakes, every detail micromanaged, to the point where most players were downright exasperated, and probably quite confused. That’s certainly what it looked like on the pitch.