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Louis Van Gaal has a forceful personality, there’s no denying that. But his personality is perhaps more nuanced than I gave him credit for. Andrew Kirby’s biography of the man who has scaled the heights of professional football depicts Van Gaal as a much more complex individual than simply being a cold, calculating tactician. Kirkby’s well researched work documents the conflicts and convergences that Van Gaal has had with players, former clubs, and his national team, getting to the heart of how his footballing mind works. This is essential reading for anyone with an interest in English football, even if you hate Manchester United it’s always wise to follow Sun Tzu’s advice: ‘If you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperilled in a hundred battles [or in this case football matches]’.
I wanted to read about van gaal the man before becoming man utd boss. He was no shrinking violet and did not suffer fools gladly. Respect to the man though. He tried managing the biggest club in the world in my opinion. Would recommend to anyone interested in man utd and trying to understand Louis van gaal as a manager.
Never before have I been allowed to delve so deep into one of the backstory and history of one of football’s greatest managers. The Dutch giant who brought success to Ajax, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and Manchester United, Louis Van Gaal is a fascinating character – charismatic along the lines of José Mourinho, tactical like Sir Alex Ferguson, and tried and tested like Pep Guardiola. Andrew Kirby sheds a new light on this personality, however, by drawing attention to the emotional and personal connections he forges with his players and his clubs. Great research and insight make this a supreme football biography.