Louis Van Gaal hails leadership of Wayne Rooney after half-time rant
By Michael Kelleher
Last Updated: 23/01/16 11:57am
Louis Van Gaal has hailed Wayne Rooney's leadership after his half-time blast at his team-mates helped Manchester United defeat Liverpool last Sunday.
United were largely outplayed in the first 45 minutes of the clash at Anfield but improved after the break with, Rooney's late winner helping secure a 1-0 win.
The United captain was at the centre of a frank exchange of views between the players at half-time and Van Gaal was pleased to see his players taking responsibility for their performance.
He said: "Not only Wayne Rooney is doing that, there are several players doing that and that is what I want.
"The players are self-responsible, not only the manager. That is also why I have made this approach to the players and so on because responsibility for the result and commitment is very important that your team is showing that.
"The fact that Rooney is scoring and we have won our games, or at least we drew versus Newcastle away. There is a parallel. I have said that always, he is not always only important as a player but also as a captain. I'm very happy with him."
For Van Gaal it brought back memories of Frank Rijkaard's famous half-time intervention in the 1995 Champions League final, which paved the way for Ajax's upset win over AC Milan.
The normally placid Rijkaard lost his temper with team-mate Clarence Seedorf - then went on to set up the winner for Patrick Kluivert after the break.
Van Gaal said: "I think the players have to take responsibility but at the right moment - because I have seen it in my career at the wrong moment.
"At the right moment you have to do it so I am very pleased - in the final in 1995 with Frank Rijkaard for example.
"It's always good; it always helps the manager and also the players. I'm asking already for more. I believe in the corrections of fellow players - I think that is more important than the correction of a manager."