Animated Touchlines Don’t Really Matter


SKY’s ‘Sunday Supplement’ has become a parody of itself. Every week you’ll see the same old faces talking the same old shit.

I tend to dip in and watch the odd fifteen minutes from time to time and watch journos discuss topics I’ve seen time and time before.

Today the bit that I caught was a discussion about Louis van Gaal and how he showed a bit of disrespect to the FA Cup, Cambridge Utd and the English game in general by not taking every opponent seriously and blaming everything under the sun for Man Utd’s disappointing result on Friday night.

The conversation then drifted along to comparisons between Van Gaal and David Moyes. Why is Van Gaal being given more slack from the press?

Each journalist had their say, his healthy winning CV seemed to be the biggest reason. No mention that United are actually in the ‘top four’ this season and some of their rivals haven’t been particularly great this term. But hey ho you can’t cover everything I suppose.

Henry Winter then brought up the point that no one seems to criticise Louis van Gaal’s style on the touchline, where he makes notes and shows little to no emotion or animation on the sidelines.

He points to Sven Goran Eriksson as an example of a manager hounded by the press stating that he didn’t get involved enough in the dugout.

But here’s the fact. The manager dancing up and down like a monkey or sitting there calmly like a child on their first day of school makes little difference with the players.

Don’t get me wrong instructions still need to be relayed to the players but you can do that in a mild, polite fashion through assistants and coaches.

Now I get why the press want to see emotive characters prowling the touchlines like Martin O’Neill, Alan Pardew and Neil Lennon. These coaches cause news stories and create great pictures. Sometimes these heart on their sleeves types let their emotions get the better of them and they boil over. For instance, Pardew has had various dust ups that inevitably created many headlines.

Van Gaal’s boring, somewhat languid style of coaching from the touchlines has worked in Holland, Germany, Spain and in international football. His style works. Now its extremely arrogant for any journalist to suggest Louis can’t succeed at a club like Man Utd unless he shows more fight from the bench, this man has won titles with Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

People and in particular newspaper hacks believe that certain things just can’t work in English football like certain tactics and characteristics. It’s farcical to think that the English game can’t adapt to different styles, or that successful coaches and players can’t compete in the UK because of their own style and beliefs.

We are talking about football here, it constantly changes. When you fail to change you get left behind.

But Louis van Gaal won’t win any matches or silverware at Manchester United if he starts roaming around his technical area and screaming at his players. It may set the fans off and it may please the press but Van Gaal doesn’t really care about doing that, he wants to create a successful squad capable of challenging on all levels.

As for asking for more animation and emotion, the pundits on ‘Sunday Supplement’ should actually heed their own advice and show that during the show and stop rehashing old topics with the same old faces in the same old monotone voices in an outdated set.

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