The German has been lauded for his passion on the sidelines, with his most exuberant celebration yet coming as his team notched a late equaliser in a 3-3 draw against Arsenal.
Van Gaal, however, revealed he did used to be colourful on the sidelines but doesn’t agree with being out of his seat for the whole contest, per Simon Mullock of the Sunday Mirror:
Every manager has his own identity, his own personality and also his own philosophy. When I started my career, I was like Klopp.
Sometimes I still come to the touchline because I am changing the players or I am trying to communicate with them, but I don’t stand there for 90 minutes because I don’t agree with that. I don’t think the referees in England are influenced by what the manager does.
There have been times this season when the performances of the respective sides have mirrored their manager’s behaviour.
Liverpool have recently been vibrant, intense and passionate in their play. By contrast, the Red Devils are often passive and lacking any kind of spark. Yet coming into Sunday’s clash, United are three points clear of their rivals.
As we can see here courtesy of OptaJoe, Van Gaal has had some success against the Liverpool boss previously too:
5-1 - Louis van Gaal inflicted Klopp’s biggest defeat as Dortmund manager in September 2009 when his Bayern side won 5-1 away. Drubbing.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 15, 2016
Despite this, Liverpool seem to be on an upward curve, while United resemble a team on the slide. The German is what the modern supporter wants to see from their manager, while Van Gaal’s stoic approach to the game harks back to a different generation.
Klopp may not be perfect, but he’s a manager who can enliven a football club that has fallen into a malaise. With angst growing around Old Trafford, you’d have to say the Red Devils could do with a similar kind of jolt.