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19th Nov 2015

Louis van Gaal takes swipe at Scholes as he recalls the time he dipped into his own pockets to buy a player


Patrick McCarry

We don’t have a spare three grand lying around. If we did, we’d probably spend it on a holiday instead of a talented Nigerian footballer.

With a microphone in hand and an expectant crowd, Louis van Gaal rarely fails to deliver the goods.

At the end of last season, he stole the show at United’s awards bash and just about every press conference has a sound-bite or seven.

This week, van Gaal spoke at the League Managers Association conference and brought the house down.

The Telergraph got a look at his speech transcript and there are a few gems.

Not one for being modest, he waxed lyrical on his innovations, VHS video and financing his own transfers.

Van Gaal revealed, “We didn’t have any money [when I started at Ajax] and we were bankrupt, so I had to look to the youth education. We scouted Jari Litmanen. A Finnish player, you will buy for £10,000.

“We also bought Finidi George. He was a Nigerian international. He was £3,000. I paid it by myself.

“We bought also Marc Overmars. But the names that you do remember are [Clarence] Seedorf, [Patrick] Kluivert. We won everything with very attacking football. I don’t say it too much because otherwise Mr [Paul] Scholes will be very angry.”

Manchester United FC Training Session

The Manchester United boss described himself as one of modern football’s original innovators, and he had the yarns to back it up.

“I was the first coach who was with a notebook,” he claimed. “Now everybody is with a notebook. I was the first coach who used video.

“Do you remember VHS video, films?” he continued. “And the counter? I was a father, I was studying, I was a teacher and I was a semi-professional player. So I had to work in the night and I had to prepare my team.

“I count in the counter, ‘1, 2, 3, 4’. And I don’t want to bore my players too much. So, ‘Cut, 55; cut 325’. So, I showed the images, only those images, because the concentration is not too high when I talk for one hour.”