Organizational culture

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Louis Van Gaal: What he said, really meant and definitely didn’t


Louis Van Gaal

What he said:

“It’s very important for a club such as Manchester United to have guardians of its culture.”

Manchester United’s new coach, Louis Van Gaal, hopes that the culture of the club will be retained with the introduction of fresh blood—youngsters—who have the ethos of the club ingrained in their DNA.

“Every youth player who comes through can be a guardian. The ‘Class of 92’ [Beckham, Butt, Giggs, Neville and Scholes] were guardians of the club’s culture. You need very good youth education so you have always more players who can become guardians.

Wayne Rooney is also a guardian of this culture now as captain and he can transfer this culture to his fellow players.”

Van Gaal intends to repeat his success in creating fresh cores at his former clubs with United.

He said:

“I did it with Barcelona where I gave debuts to Xavi, [Andres] Iniesta, [Carles] Puyol and [Victor] Valdes. At Bayern Munich, we had [Holger] Badstuber, [Thomas] Muller and [David] Alaba who can guard the culture. I also want to do that here but the youth players have to take their chance when they receive it.”

What he really meant:

“Organizational culture cannot be created overnight. It is a gradual process and MU’s vision, values, norms, systems, symbols, language, assumptions, beliefs, and habits will be imbibed by the players and affect the way they perceive, think and even feel.”

What he definitely didn’t:

“In simpler terms, I need easily influenced youth who I can then brainwash.”

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