“He’s a great guy, he’s a very great professional
also, so that’s not the problem.
“His problem is that he has to compete with high-
level players and Rooney is also the captain, so he
has a privilege.
“I have explained that, so then the other places are
for positions in this system that we are playing now
– the No.10 – and that’s Mata, that’s [Angel] Di
“That’s difficult to compete with, but that he already
knew the moment that he signed for Manchester
United – do you understand?
“When you sign for a top club like he did, he knows
that he has to fight, but he is fighting. I said to him
this week that he was coming back. A lot of weeks
he was down [in performance level], but now he is
Asked if he believed United were the best team in
the Premier League when everything clicks, Van
Gaal said: “That’s a difficult question, because I
think we can improve still on a lot of things in our
“Then I divide into four head main moments: it’s
ball possession, also ball transition to ball
possession, it’s also transition to ball possession
opponent, and ball possession opponent.
“In all main moments we can improve – and that’s
the process – but when I see where we are now –
yeah, still we are already third, and we have to
improve still a lot in my opinion.
“At the end maybe we can see if we are the best
team. But it’s also dependable on the process of
Chelsea and Manchester City, because you have to
“In sport, second place doesn’t count. Only first
place counts, and that’s why you should always
compare with your competition and being first in
the country – there’s only one No.1.”
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