After being whisked straight over from Brazil to Old Trafford for the 2014 season, Van Gaal came to the club with a specific set of philosophical ideas in mind, bringing a dilapidated Manchester United side a new, innovative, philosophical approach to football that got everyone talking. However it hasn’t all been sunshine and daisies since then, and two years later in 2016, after having failed qualify for the Champion’s League, Louis Van Gaal’s ‘philosophy’ has become the subject of heavy scrutiny.
After having reassured the media and his players no less than 573 times since becoming Manchester United coach that he has a clear ‘philosophy’ that he believes is suitable for the football club, it was all of a sudden revealed by a number of players after a 3-2 loss to West Ham United in midweek that they ‘know absolutely nothing’ about the subject.
When Catholic team captain and striker Wayne Rooney was asked what he thought about the usefulness of Saint Thomas Aquinas’ primary and secondary precepts to 21st Century Western society he responded irritably with “who the fuck is that?” and wheel-spinned off in his Bentley.
When we asked midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger what he thought of the validity of German philosopher Immanuel Kant’s moral argument he responded with “oh so you’re one of those funny ones are you?”
We then caught up with left winger Ashley Young and asked him what philosophers he and the team admired and inspired their football and he looked perplexed and responded with “Philosophers aren’t actual things are they? I only know the one in Harry Potter and I didn’t even like those films”.
After suspicions that the entirety of the Manchester United dressing room don’t even know the basics of Philosophy, Van Gaal was questioned about the level of philosophical knowledge his team possessed and he responded with “no comment”.
One thing is for sure, if Manchester United are going to return to the form of their past glories, the team has two options- get rid of Louid Van Gaal and change to a more easily comprehensible series of ideas, like sociology or home economics, or get studying.