Dutch tactician Louis van Gaal became famous for his nickname ‘The Iron Tulip’ during his spell with Bayern Munich but despite falling out with senior figures during his ill-fated reign at Manchester United, there’s probably a lot we didn’t hear of the 65-year-old.
Report recently surfaced that Van Gaal was overlooked for the Belgium national team coaching job after a preliminary interview because he was deemed to be ‘draining and exhausting’ by the Belgian FA after he was asked to analyse his vision for the team.
Van Gaal is renowned for his monotonous coaching methodology and unrepentant lucubration and it is understood Belgium held talks with him as they searched for a successor to Marc Wilmots following the disappointment of their Euro 2016 exit to Wales.
Van Gaal was on an initial long-list that also included Italian Cesare Prandelli, but only Ralf Rangnick, Rudi Garcia and Roberto Martinez made it down to the final short-list and official interview stage.
However, after losing the job which Spaniard Martinez later got albeit losing his debut game 2-0 to his country in an international friendly midweek, some hilarious revelations emerged on how van Gaal put a leash on his players while at United.
At Old Trafford, Van Gaal would hold lengthy analysis sessions the day after games with his players.
They became dreaded occasions and senior players including Wayne Rooney and Michael Carrick even stepped in to ask the former Ajax and Barcelona boss to tone down the criticism at the beginning of last season.
He didn’t back down, instead, the notorious Van Gaal began sending players personalised emails with video attachments so that they would not escape the critique.
Upon that, he then began tracking the emails to check if his players were reading his feedback.