Daley Blind is convinced that Louis van Gaal can lead Manchester United back to the top again and is a strong advocate of his philosophy.
Blind was brought into the Dutch squad by United’s current manager and he witnessed the entire country question Van Gaal’s tactics as he fielded a 3-5-2 at the World Cup.
The current situation at United is not very different to the one described earlier as supporters have openly voiced their discontent with the back three system favoured by Van Gaal.
And ahead of United’s tie against Cambridge on Friday, Blind has praised his manager and insisted that people will come to see it the Dutchman’s way as well.
“He expects a lot from his players. He is very honest and direct in what he wants,” said Blind.
“That is a good thing. He makes players better and he makes teams better. I like that in a coach. That is his most important asset.
“It was the same when I was with him with Holland. He wanted to make the team better. As the team gets better individuals started standing out.
“I like it that he is so direct and clear. I don’t think the whole philosophy of the club has changed in the way we are playing.
“He is very clear in what he wants. We all understand what he wants it of course if you have played another system for a long time you have to get used to a new one but that isn’t a problem. There are games we are doing it every well but games when we can do it better. We are improving.
“Of course there are moments we can be better but we are getting better. It doesn’t happen overnight. You can’t always switch something in a day. The players are comfortable in the system.
“Last season in Holland there were discussions on the television (about the system changes) but there is always someone who wants to say something, otherwise there would be no interest in TV.
“We were confident as a team the way we played and every one game when we beat Spain the whole country was behind us.
“We improved. You change the system and you get better, you become a team and you start winning.
“Spain was an amazing game. I never thought that would happen. But we believed in what we were doing.
“You want to win everything. If you are in the race for a title or a cup then you want to be the champion.
“You have to take every possibility there is to win something. We knew it was going to be difficult in the Premier League but we have to keep our heads up. We have to keep faith.”
Blind was on the end of some criticism of TV pundit Gary Neville who accused the former Ajax player of always taking the “easy option”.
But Blind believes that he always opts for the safety first approach and will be always happy to let his teammates grab the headlines.
“I can take a bit of criticism. The people on TV can say what they want. You hear it but I think I have played some good games,” added Blind.
“Of course you can play the ball forward but sometimes it is good to keep the ball in possession and make your team mates play better. I can make other players more important than myself. If I can do that by switching the play to the other side or wait for the right moment to do that then I will.
“If there is space forward then I will play that ball but sometimes I think it is better to keep possession, to switch from side to side and move the ball and search for players who can make an individual action.
“I am not a player who does that. I like the possession game. I like to keep the ball and wait for the openings.
“Of course, I listen to him (Gary Neville) but I try to play my own game and do what the trainer wants from me. He wants me to keep possession.
“It is important to keep the ball and make the opponent more tired. You don’t have to win matches in the first half.
“You can wait until the second half. It is all about waiting for the right moment. Sometimes the space is there but other times you just have to keep the ball and wait for an opening.”
Written by Jash Mehta [@the_manutd_blog]