Six Degrees Of Louis Van Gaal

The Telegraph

From The Telegraph:

You will doubtless be familiar with the game “Six Degrees Of Kevin Bacon”. The central premise runs thus: so formidable is Bacon’s influence on the last generation of American cinema that virtually any Hollywood actor, living or dead, can somehow be linked to Bacon in no more than six steps.

If you were to play a similar game in the world of football, there are a number of names you could start with. You could look at Johan Cruyff or Rinus Michels, architects of the Dutch school in the 1970s. Or the maverick Marcelo Bielsa, currently at Marseille, whose uniquely idiosyncratic approach has won a legion of devotees from Pep Guardiola to Mauricio Pochettino. But one look at the landscape of modern European football is enough to end the discussion. It is a map drawn, above all, by Louis van Gaal.

Say what you want about Louis Van Gaal as a person but you can’t deny that he is a very influential coach. It is astounding how many different coaches are branches on his coaching tree. However, it also speaks to his mercenary nature that he has been influential to so many coaches. By design he never stays anywhere too long. He always needs to be constantly moving and spreading his influence across Europe. Coaches like him get too restless when they stay somewhere for too long because when you stay at a team for too long then you risk getting mired in the status quo. Every few years he needs a new challenge. Thats why he has been such a great hire for Manchester United. All he had to do was come in, right the ship, and then hand off the reigns to a more long term option. Maybe it will be Klopp? Only time will tell.

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