Home » Unlabelled » Van Gaal: My Manchester United team plays the Matt Busby Way
The Dutchman was speaking to the media at Old Trafford following a remembrance service on the 57th anniversary of the Munich air disaster, which claimed 23 lives when an aeroplane carrying the United squad back from a European Cup tie crashed on February 6, 1958.
The memory of the 'Busby Babes', of which eight perished as a result of the crash, has played a major role in the club's history, and new players are habitually reminded of the importance of playing and behaving with a certain style and character.
Van Gaal was moved by the tribute, and elected to repeat a passage from the poem "Fifty Years", which was read aloud at the ceremony.
"I represent the club nowadays as a manager, and I sent my group of players because they were also a group of players who gave a lot of joy to the people at that time, they have played a big part in the history of this club," the former Barcelona boss stated.
"I think we have to remember that always. There was a man singing and I was impressed. I want to read it in front of you because I was impressed because that is the big influence they still have now, and it was in the last sentences ...
"'You are the strength and inspiration for those who play their roles today' - that's me and the players, maybe you as journalists you play your part.
"'We look for flair and pace and passion, to play the game 'United's way'. I was happy that I was there because of this, and also the impression that the people gave to me. I think we have made the right decision to be there, out of respect to the players and Matt Busby."
The Dutchman was later asked if he feels his current squad play in the style which has traditionally been associated with the club and implored by its fans to this day.
"Yes, I think so, because it is not a question of playing with or without wingers or three or four defenders, it is playing style which is attractive," he added. "We could have played better in ball possession as we are having unnecessary losses in possession.
"We have very good defensive and attacking organisation. We are fourth in scoring goals and also fourth or third in defence. I don’t think we are very bad. We are very good, but we can improve."