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27th Sep 2022

Tyrell Malacia says he ‘didn’t agree’ with Louis van Gaal after touchline row

Callum Boyle

Tyrell Malacia

Malacia said he ‘didn’t agree’ with Van Gaal

Tyrell Malacia has said that he “didn’t agree” with Louis van Gaal’s decision to play him at centre-back during the Netherlands’ win against Belgium on Sunday.

Malacia has impressed in the full-back position since joining Manchester United this summer and has established himself as the club’s first-choice left-back.

The 23-year-old also looks set to secure a place on the plane to Qatar for the World Cup and featured in Holland’s final game before the tournament, a 1-0 win against Belgium.

But instead of featuring in his usual position, Van Gaal opted to deploy him in the centre of defence, something that Malacia wasn’t keen with.

Tyrell Malacia

Van Gaal later revealed that he chose to play him there in order to weaken the threat of Kevin De Bruyne. He said: “I put him on the left of the central defence because De Bruyne played a lot on that side.

“It’s better to have a pitbull like that instead of someone like Blind who tries to solve it tactically. De Bruyne has more acceleration than Blind as well so I put Malacia there. I had already discussed this with him the day before yesterday, that he could play as a left centre-back.”

Despite Van Gaal’s claims that they had discussed the change in position, Malacia was still left frustrated and could be seen arguing with his boss on the touchline. The full-back later admitted that he didn’t agree with the tactical decision.

“I didn’t agree with it at the time, yes,” he said speaking to De Telegraaf.

“After the game we talked about that moment for a while and then it was over. The national coach thinks that I should also be able to play in the centre of the defence. But I feel best on the left.”

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