Louis van Gaal
Manchester United Awards Night Address
delivered 19 May 2015
[AUTHENTICITY CERTIFIED: Text version below transcribed directly from complete audio version]
It's always difficult to resume [replay] the season, but when you start season with 10 matches and 13 points and you are a manager of that club -- the most world famous club -- and...you play...at home -- you play at home -- and I am also a human being -- I am also a human being and I have the experience with other clubs -- that when you have that result you are not very beloved by your fans.
And I came in the stadium of Old Trafford, 10 matches, 13 points, and I came in, and I saw by myself how I have to behave myself.
And then they -- the public are applauding, standing up, and I thought how is it possible? How is it possible that the fans are supporting me? But -- [audience applause] Thank you. But -- But thanks...to that -- thanks to that we could continue, and not only me of course -- my staff, but especially the players.
But -- Because it is not so easy when you are playing in a great club as Manchester United, that you have 10 matches, 13 points, and you have a new manager who demands in another way than all the other managers. Itís very difficult.
And with all the injuries -- with all the injuries of the first part of the season, and then we continue with the spirit in the team -- unbelievable. And thatís the credit of this team: the spirit in the team.
And we -- we come from, I thought in my memory, 13th place to the third position in the league, that was the highest classification, third position, after so bad start. And then we had the belief, the -- the players but also the staff, had the belief that we could end second.
I remember the meeting with the players, with the captain Wayne Rooney, who is saying we -- [audience cheers] -- we go for the second position in -- in the league. And I said, yes! We go for it!
But, okay, Christmas time! Arsenal! FA Cup. FA Cup. Lost! You remember the FA game against Arsenal? We were the better team, and the -- and the best player on the pitch, in my opinion, make an error. And we lose that game, and after that, the meeting -- the meeting, what -- what I have talked about, was there.
And then you have to remember that we win six games in a row!
And then -- And then we go to Chelsea. You remember away game against Chelsea. We -- We had -- [audience noise] -- No, no, no, no -- You have to listen. I ask you -- I ask you to listen, because at that time -- at that time we have 50 points, and Wayne Rooney sat in the dressing room, "We go for the second place." He said that. Second position in the league table.
Then, six games in a row we win, and then we go to Chelsea. Who are the better team then?! Itís -- It's easy to say that now in this room. I can believe it, but it was the truth, but we lost. We lost that game. But can you imagine when you have 80% ball possession, you have 10 big possibilities and they have three. They have three. And they win the game.
When [If] we win that game, count the numbers of points we could have w[o]n, because after that we -- we lose two games in a row. So, three games in a row. But when you see that we have 30 points and then Chelsea had 83 -- they have now -- at that moment 80 points -- and we could have been the champion. So what I want to say to you: We are very close!
But -- But as -- But as a manager I know -- But as a manager I know that "if" is not counting. "If" is not not counting. We have to produce more and believe in the players, but also the staff and also the organisation like Manchester United shall do their outmost best. And why? Because we have the best fans of the world.
Thank you for that, and I see you next season again.
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